LESS IS BECOMING MORE IN SPORTS
In the era that we now live in, less is more. For the younger demographic, the Internet is the new TV. Through the Internet via the Snapchats and Instagrams of the world, the lives of others have become the new TV show or programme and has created a new lane for our entertainment.
NBC who own the rights to distribute the Olympic Games in the US, has decided to bring highlights of the Olympics to social media platforms providing a summarised experience, where they will publish up to 20 Olympics highlights per day. This coverage will include a two-minute daily recap show that will be exclusive to Facebook and distribution of highlights across Facebook and Instagram as well as via Snapchat’s Discover section and Twitter.
This current generation lives their lives constantly on the move and so may not want to have to sit down at a scheduled time to tune into a particular programme. Therefore, they would rather consume content in their own time and on their own terms. This is something that Netflix has understood and achieved, by providing flexibility, choice and control by enabling people to watch their shows on demand. Currently, experience is less of a disruption and more an integration, an integration with their everyday lives. NBC now understands that there is a generation of people that are more likely to discover things to watch on social media rather than by turning on the TV, as the Internet is their first screen.
I like the idea of having more flexibility over how and when I watch and consume content as I am all about openness, flexibility and simplicity. It makes me appreciate viewing even more as there are so many things I enjoy doing. It allows me to experience it without it compromising or disrupting my life but instead I can integrate it into my schedule as I please.
By making footage of performances shorter, more digestible and more accessible, I believe this new move will increase the chances of performances being watched by more people. This resonates within a generation that consumes content in 140 characters or less and or within 10 seconds. Bringing the Olympic highlights to social media creates an incentive to see live performances. It means that the reactions towards the games will be more powerful and easily spread, creating a bigger spectacle post performance.
There are benefits to watching something live as and when it happens, as it enables you to experience the moment of something great happening. This is something that will live with you forever, it provides an experience that is much more magical than watching something on demand, as it is happening in the moment, somewhere in the world. Live viewing is something you can experience with others, for example, Usain Bolt running 9.58 seconds, Andres Iniesta scoring the winner in the 2010 World Cup Final or recently seeing Lebron James lead Cleveland to their first ring, provided a greater experience seeing it live at first hand as opposed to watching it on demand after receiving the confirmation of the results from someone else and will be something I will remember forever. Thanks to YouTube, I’ve been able to have a window into the past to witness the feats of sporting greats, the likes of Muhammad Ali and Magic Johnson, but what would it have been like if I got to see them live? Would I appreciate their achievements more? Overall, in this new era of flexibility, control and connectivity, highlights may be the preferred option among sports viewers, but having both live performances and highlights available provides some variety for everyone to suit their schedules.
There is a shift moving towards convenience and control in terms of the consumption of sports. By providing fans with greater control over how and when they watch and experience sport. Sky Sports will be adopting this approach, by showing Premier League highlights and goals on Twitter during this upcoming season, enabling Twitter users in the UK and Ireland to see video clips of key moments and goals from all games shown by Sky in real time. I feel that more sports networks will begin to vary the way in which they package and deliver their content to suit the ways in which fans consume content, whether that be traditional full live games and performances or short, summarised highlights.