Recently, I had the pleasure of participating in a tech webinar panel with HYPE Sports, The New Game Changers of Sports Media & Broadcasting. I was asked to share my perspective on the current landscape and innovation trends I’m seeing, and how I believe it will impact what’s coming next for the Media, Sports, and Entertainment industry. I wanted to expand a bit on some of the topics I covered and highlight big themes to consider for the future.
Remote (REMI) Production
Over the last 4 to 5 years, Cisco and our ecosystem of partners have seen a major boom in remote production, and we have committed to providing IP solutions to help power and accelerate this transition. We have also seen companies who have been a little unsure, leery of the initial investment, anticipated learning curve, and the effort an undertaking like that might require. However, when we were required to shut down, remote production quickly went from convenient to essential as we all began to navigate the new world of “social distancing” and the inability to host live events.
Anyone previously on the fence about adopting remote production has likely hopped down and started sprinting in that direction. Remote production not only provides the ability to create engaging experiences and distribute compelling content in-venue and around the world, but right now it’s also serving as a key tool for business continuity as we embrace these new challenges. Fundamentally, it is allowing the broadcast world to continue to run without the ability to physically sit in a building, a stadium, a concert hall, etc. while leveraging IP and collaboration solutions to do so.
One of my favorite examples for collaboration in media and entertainment is how Jerry Bruckheimer Films is using Webex to produce power-house blockbusters. With projects literally spanning the globe, from Budapest to Cartagena, the ability to communicate effectively across production teams is critical for the filmmaker. Cisco Webex allows all members of the production team to collaborate from anywhere in the world; storyboarding, editing, collaborating in real-time the same way they would sitting across the table. But in a socially-distanced world, we have also seen the likes of major news outlets and governments leverage Cisco Webex to continue delivering mission-critical information that is at the heart of business continuity.
Data Center and Hybrid Cloud
When we are back in-person smelling the hot-dogs and peanuts from Dodger Stadium, or your favorite venue around the world, the fan experience will be more immersive than ever before due — in part– to the capabilities provided by content, analytics, and data.
Before the shutdown, the LA Dodgers ballclub facilitated up to 1000 transactions every minute of every event they hosted through 600 points of sale terminals and 150 handheld devices. The data collected through these types of experiences open a myriad of capabilities to enhance fan involvement and enrich the broadcasting content experience. At other venues like the new Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas or at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, we are seeing venue transformation occur with their deployment of CiscoVision dynamic digital signage, as well as 5G and Wi-Fi 6 throughout.
As we return to stadiums, the collection and integration of data from point of sale devices into usable analytics will power a 360-degree, concierge-like experience for the stadium goer with personalized content experiences in suites, on menu boards, and throughout the venue. Imagine pulling up an app on your phone that can tell you how long the line is for the bathroom, or where in the venue you can find merchandise for sale to match your style. Or maybe you’re the advertiser looking to make the most of your advertisement spend and reach multiple demographics dynamic, targeted advertising experiences. This level of interactivity and more is being made possible through the power of data analytics from Cisco and our ecosystem partners.
5G and Wi-Fi 6
With the growth we are seeing in IoT — connected experiences, analytics, wearables, collaboration, etc. — the need for a resilient, low-latency network is at an all-time high. We are just on the cusp of unlocking the potential 5G and Wi-Fi 6 can offer in this area.
As we forge ahead and begin to understand how to leverage these technologies, I can envision a future where wearables will signal data and graphics back to an all-IP network. The network could use that data, analyze it, and offer up new, engaging content experiences that right now only exist in the imagination. I see the possibility of integrating weather data with remote production to cost-effectively produce content at multiple locations in ways we have never seen before. The potential for forward-thinking, futuristic offerings will be huge for the Media, Sports and Entertainment industry, and the sky’s the limit for the opportunities we can unlock together!
To wrap it up, the panel with HYPE was a great reminder that even during the uncertainty we are living in, there are some great opportunities in front of us. It’s exciting to see how our partners and customers are harnessing this opportunity together and leading the industry into 2021!