• 56% of millennials plan to increase second screen use during sport
  • 54% of people believe AI can predict sports results
  • But just 26% realise the role AI can play in sports coverage

A new report from telecoms giant NTT has found that sporting organisations need to do more to engage digital savvy fans, especially millennials.

camera filming football sport remote production 3x2

Sports broadcasting can see an AI boost

Research from the Japanese telco found that 56% of 18-34 year olds said they planned to up their use of second screens during live sports over the coming years. Just over half said they track live updates from a mobile or tablet while watching sport.

The primary motivation for using a second screen during a sporting event is access to data and stats (34%), with four in 10 people wanting even more statistics to enhance their digital experience, NTT found.

According to the study, which took in the views of 3,700 sports fans worldwide, 54% believe AI is capable of successfully predicting the results of sporting events, with 52% claiming predictions can help increase engagement in sport.

NTT claims the current landscape “exposes the need for the right technology” solutions to boost sporting experience, with 46% of respondents saying their current data experience makes sport more enjoyable.

Perhaps surprisingly, just 26% of people across the study said they were aware of AI or machine learning being used in sporting events.

Ruth Rowan, global chief marketing officer at NTT, said: “Whether through live analytics and data enhancements, AI-powered experiences, or connected stadiums – its 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.”

It comes as a number of sport events have used services from NTT Data – a subsidiary of NTT Corporation – to boost their user experience or analyse additional data points.

Golf’s The Open has worked with NTT Data for a number of years, according to Forbes, but at last weekend’s competition NTT used AI to automatically extract information such as player name and hole by analysing the facial expression and posture of the players.

The technology allows its partners to automatically categorise video highlights to boost the quality of output for fans.

NTT also launched Le Buzz – a new machine-learning model being trialled at the Tour de France. It 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.