Are college sports making the most of their media?

College Sports in the United States were enjoyed by a relatively local audience until television networks began to promote and broadcast intercollegiate games in the 1970s. Since then interest has increased exponentially, and in the age of connected mobile devices, demand for college sports has rocketed.

That should be good news for University Sports Departments – but they have a problem on their hands. Audiences have evolved and diversified – it’s no longer about providing a live feed to the local TV network or broadcast partners. They are now under pressure to provide all types of content to multiple audiences – to local and national TV stations as well as loyal fans across the campus.

Research by the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications suggests that sports fans no longer set aside a time to consume sports content; instead, they ‘snack’ on it throughout the day using social media updates and push notifications. Across mainstream sports, fans who do not want to watch or do not have access to a full live broadcast are increasingly relying on near-live highlights, particularly those posted on social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Snapchat, to discover scores and results. Rather than spending hours watching an entire game or event on TV, more and more viewers would rather access highlights through a digital platform, such as an app, an OTT streaming service, or social media.

As demand for near-live and archive content increases on social media, TV newsrooms and sports broadcasters also expect plenty of choice and faster access to content from the Universities. The problem is that the majority of University athletic departments (76%) are still using in-house storage on CD’s or hard drives. This severely limits the searchability of content by production staff searching for supporting content for magazine shows or local news bulletins. Demand for archive content, player interviews, off-season previews, post and pre-game analysis is growing – and most college sports departments don’t yet have the media management and distribution tools in place to deal with that.

The solution is in the clouds – cloud-based media asset management and distribution platforms like Imagen enable college sports departments to create and publish near-live and archive clips to social media platforms, offer self-serve access to broadcasters and capture live broadcast streams for future use.

Speed to market, greater choice and ease of access are critical to maximising the value of college sports content. Offering live streaming, live capture, pin-point time-based video searching, instant playback, online editing and high-speed file transfers, Imagen unlocks the full commercial potential of college sports and provides a first class service for broadcast partners and sports fans on social media.

Find out how Imagen delivered a ground breaking video distribution platform for Auburn University later this month during our session at the SVG College Summit. Auburn use Imagen’s award-winning media portal to manage and distribute its college sports highlights to local and national TV networks as well as providing rapid access to archived content through a secure, feature rich web portal.

Auburn’s dedicated video sharing platform enables logged in users to search and play back game highlights, as well as interviews, press conferences and exclusive behind the scenes footage. Power users can create clips, make collections and download high resolution files ready for broadcast. The self-serve video platform offers plenty of choice, delivers a feature rich user experience time and is a great time saver for local journalists and production teams.

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