As technology continues to roll out one development after another, industries are doing their best to go with the flow – or even to stay ahead of the competition. In the world of sports, the biggest advancement is how it has embraced the concept of IPTV or Internet Protocol Television.
IPTV refers to television services delivered through the Internet. It is divided into three major groups.
- Live Television lets you watch shows as they unfold.
- Time-Shifted TV, on the other hand, can pertain to either catch-up or start-over TV. If you want to catch up on a show that came out weeks or days ago, use catch-up time-shifted TV. If you were not able to start your favorite show’s latest episode, you can replay the parts you missed with the help of start-over TV.
- The third IPTV group is VoD or Video on Demand, which basically allows you to choose videos not related to TV programming (special shows, trailers or uploaded videos).
All these technologies give you the convenience of watching a show, film or video on your own terms.
One of the industries that can greatly benefit from the success of IPTV is sports broadcasting. Sports networks now have a more convenient way of streaming games and matches to large audiences. IPTV use also presents a variety of advantages that sports broadcasters and fans can enjoy.
Aside from offering high-definition broadcasts, a big IPTV advantage is interactivity. With interactive features, users will be able to personalize their viewing experience. There’s an option for adjusting camera angles and a program guide can help a viewer decide which of the many shows he’d watch first. IPTV also has parental controls, so parents are assured that their children will not be exposed to anything not suitable for them. If a viewer wants to surf channels without leaving the game he is watching, he is free to do so. Sports buffs, on the other hand, can examine the statistics of a player while watching a match or game.
Another IPTV advantage is its VoD feature. With Video on Demand, viewers can easily search for online programs and watch trailers or sneak peeks of games. Their choices are no longer confined to the usual sports programs shown on TV or cable.
IPTV is an integration of different services, so users can do a variety of things while watching their favorite basketball, football or rugby team pound the competition. An example of this integration is the on-your-TV caller ID feature.
Finally, sports fans will no longer have to rush home to catch the latest broadcast of their favorite games because IPTV is portable. Most IPTV systems are smaller than a cable box, so they can be carried around quite easily. Of course, one will have to find a place or area where there’s good broadband or Internet connection; but it’s still a fact that users can catch a 3pm game without rushing to the subway or driving home like crazy just to catch the telecast on the local sports network or on cable.
What This Means for Sports Broadcasting?
IPTV opens a lot of doors for sports broadcasting. It offers the opportunity of reaching out to as many sports fans as possible. IPTV allows the broadcast of multiple sports channels on a 24/7 basis, so there’s also more time for sports broadcasts. Additionally, IPTV gives viewers and sports fans the chance to witness games of less popular sports like rowing and darts.
IPTV still has a long road to traverse before it makes a significant dent in mainstream sports broadcasting (or broadcasting in general). For now, though, it presents a lot of interesting options for sports fans who want the best seats without having to spend dollars for game tickets.