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AI Is The ‘Holy Grail’ For Enhanced Sports Viewing Experience: Study

AI Is The ‘Holy Grail’ For Enhanced Sports Viewing Experience: Study

Prajakta Hebbar

Despite the result of the India vs New Zealand match at the ICC World Cup semi-final, millennials from across the world are still willing to go that extra mile when it goes to watching sports. According to a new report by NTT, a noted tech and managed services company, the sporting organisations need put in extra efforts for their fans, as millennials are still hungry for better, more inclusive experiences.

The report, published earlier this week, says that only half of the viewers said their current data experience regarding sporting events was adequate. This shortfall exposes the need for the right technology infrastructure and solutions to deliver the sophisticated experiences sporting fans expect. The report goes on to suggest that artificial intelligence and machine learning will be the answer.

As the competition for fan engagement increases across major global sporting events, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning offer new ways to deliver more sophisticated and connected data experiences.

The research of around 3,700 sports fans from across the globe shows AI and ML are extremely effective ways to create more engaging, data-rich experiences. It found:

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  • 54% of people aged 18-34 believe AI is capable of successfully predicting the results of a sporting event
  • 52% of the respondents said accurate predictions make a sporting event more engaging
  • Only 26% of people across all age groups are aware of AI and ML actually being used at sporting events, exposing a huge opportunity to create greater engagement

Ruth Rowan, Global Chief Marketing Officer at NTT said in a statement, “There’s a real hunger in the sports industry for a more futuristic viewing experience for fans… Whether that’s through live analytics and data enhancements, AI-powered experiences, or connected stadiums – it’s clear ICT infrastructure, the cloud, and mobile services have a critical role to play as the sports industry evolves to meet the growing demands of digitally savvy supporters.”

Rowan added that based on the above data, NTT had created an innovation-rich experience for the upcoming Tour de France. He said that the company had the following AI and ML-powered products for the same:

  • Le Buzz: An ML model which analyses the movements within the peloton to predict potential key moments, such as the increased likelihood of a crash, a split in the peloton or a change in race dynamics
  • Live stage favourites: ML-based stage favourite predictions to update live throughout the stage, based on the events occurring within the race
  • “Catch the Break” predictor: A predictor to account for the different race strategies in play at different points in a stage, through the creation of individual ML models for every 10km section of the race
  • Live data insights and predictions: A social media tool
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