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SBD Global/February 19, 2014/Media

News Limited Columnist Looks At Future Of TV Sports Broadcasting

The sports viewing revolution "has already taken place," according to a column by News Limited's Richard Hines, published in the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH under the header "Richard Hines on the technology that is taking sports viewing to the next level." Hines wrote, "Forget the forecasts about how traditional television sport would be challenged -- perhaps even supplanted -- by new digital platforms. If the current TV providers are to maintain their stranglehold on the market, and gain value for their rights-paying dollars, they must acknowledge the one screen, fixed camera, deadpan commentator model is dead. They must consider the statistics -- about 80 per cent of sports viewers watch with one eye on the plasma, the other on their tablet or smart phone -- and understand a rapid, innovative response is a matter of commercial life and death." Which is why Fox Sports is "aggressively marketing its National Rugby League coverage this season as being tailored for the two screen generation." He continued, "One attempt to cater for the ever-twitching I-thumbs" of the Gen Y viewer is on the Fox Sports NRL app. The "Best Seat in the House" feature allows viewers to control a 360 degree camera positioned -- most likely -- behind the sideline bench. Fox Sports is also planning to re-introduce the ref-cam. Although, given the jolting images caused more sea sickness than the Sydney to Hobart during last season's trial, with a stabiliser to reduce movement. The message for -- and from -- Fox Sports is that their NRL production is no longer just a matter of what you watch, but how you watch it. Broadcasters cannot "dictate from the control room to screen-hopping viewers" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 2/18).
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