How 5G is set to change the broadcasting and sports landscape

5G will revolutionise the way broadcasters deliver content and enhance their customer experience, according to Caroline Chan, vice president of the network platforms group at Intel.

Chan, speaking at the IBC Conference in Amsterdam, told attendees to begin considering how future 5G developments would affect their business, with early adopters getting set to launch.

In a blog post Chan wrote: “5G networks will offer media companies and brands an unprecedented opportunity to meet customers where they want to be, and deliver new experiences that make their lives better and more exciting. These experiences can deepen customer relationships and create new revenue opportunities.”

Intel has a couple of initiatives in this field, from virtual reality to edge computing. Working alongside Nokia, Tencent and China Unicom, the company is putting together a solution for the latter at the Shanghai Mercedes Benz Arena which enables customers to access multiple view angles of customer events. For sport, the company is utilising VR to give fans a more personalised, immersive experiences; this can translate to real-time content, interactive highlights and replays on a variety of devices.

This publication has outlined a couple of recent examples in this field. The Avaya Stadium in San Jose recently oversaw the installation of a new cellular wireless system from Mobilitie, giving fans access to an advanced voice and data communications network, while IBM aims to beef up the fan experience at the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, to include apps, Wi-Fi connectivity and cloud coverage.

Moreover, expect more tech companies to get their noses in the sports content trough, according to Ed Woodward, executive vice chairman of Manchester United. Speaking to analysts following the football club’s latest earnings report, Woodward replied to a question by noting the growing interest from Facebook and Amazon around the Indian Premier League cricket rights.

“I do think we are going to see an increasing engagement from these… and we would welcome the interest,” he said. “I think it’s going to be increasingly important to digitally engage with fans and we think we can be complementary to partners like this coming up.”

As Chan noted, the content side is coming through Disney – the parent company of ESPN – announcing its own over the top (OTT) solution. “While the company will continue to work with MSOs and others, it is clear that ESPN and Disney believe consumers will pay a premium for unique sports content,” she wrote. “5G offers companies the opportunity to connect with mobile consumers around a variety of entertainment experiences.”

You can read Chan’s full blog post here.

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