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During 2nd day of #SISMasterClass2020, last Wednesday, Andreas Heyden, EVP Digital Innovations DFL Group, shared with us some thoughts about Bundesliga innovation strategy, always in control of its own products and data.

In this changing media world, Bundesliga is coming from a past where we were selling TV rights to broadcasters, for passive fans to watch. Now Bundesliga is engineering rights, develop sport content solutions for media partners, who are more and more OTT partners. The consumer is changing from watching to participating, engaging.

In order to adapt, Bundesliga developed the Glass-to-Glass strategy, from the camera man to the smartphone screen. And Bundesliga, unlike most leagues, is producing all contents from the 36 clubs. Sports tech solutions allow to understand the millions of datapoints and deliver smart data to fans thanks to the media partners. Bundesliga is wishing and having full control of the quality, and owns the data, those are core competences for this organization. 

To do that, innovation is key. And the process is the following: screening of trend & developments, definition of innovation areas (next gen content production, next gen broadcasting, next gen sports such as esports, next gen mobile experience), building an innovation pipeline test projects in innovation areas, investing in startups to include new capacities, and partnering with companies such as AWS, Deltatre, Vodafone… All this looking to enriching the media product, the viewing experience which is key for fans to experience the “perfect match”. That goes with AWS Machine learning models helping to create more personalized Bundesliga experience…

Next gen content is coming from data to insights. Every data that Bundesliga can get; they collect. From data )shots on goal, player speed, number of defenders, distance…), to insights such as real formation vs original plan, goal probability, speed alert…, providing most important KPIs to broadcasters. One key product is the Bundesliga Match Fact, telling stories that could not have been told without technologies. This content layer is making the game more interesting.

Also to face the growing demand by media partners for content to be distributed, often via OTT, Bundesliga is reforming the Bundesliga Live Stream Infrastructure using AWS Services for Cloud, and IP Based distribution. This solution is cost effective, scalable and performant. There will be a single stream, with individual media packages (languages, graphics…). When it comes to Olympics, Alibaba is working on those solutions as well with Olympic Broadcasting Services.

Last but not the least, mobile experience, help with 5G getting into some stadium, is key to fans. It is all about digital enrichment of the in-stadium experience, with on demand usage by the fan. Important again, Bundesliga and Andreas consider that “it is only possible by owning the value chain”. 

As a conclusion, what´s next for Bundesliga?

  • Enriching broadcast product for media partners worldwide 

  • Pave the way to a personalized football viewing experience powered by real-time machine learning 

  • Establish sophisticated data insights as an integral part of every match analysis for fans, media and clubs

  • Automation of event production and data collection to automate and improving betting 

  • See you in our next #SISMasterClass2020 (https://www.sis.news/sismasterclass2020) on Wednesday (program until December 2nd, in Spanish mostly).

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