It is rare that a Masters Golf Tournament features so many Swedes in contention for the final round. And this year there were four: Peter Hanson, Henrik Stenson, Fredrik Jacobson and Bubba Watson. But is this what I enjoyed most about watching this year’s Masters – or was it that I was able to create a truly unique, personalized viewer experience for myself?
This year, for the first time, I was able to view four different channels at once: two featured player groups and two featured parts of the course. I could then choose which screen I wanted to follow, or watch all four screens simultaneously.
Being able to get specific statistics from the dedicated Masters app made the experience complete. Not only did I get access to information about the primary leaderboard, I was also able to receive updates on the progress of the other players I chose to follow. And to me that was really important.
To improve my viewing experience even further, next year I would like to watch the tournament with a more extensive offering of camera angles. This should be possible, given that consumers continue to embrace the shift toward multi-screen and multi-network TV services.
For more than 30 years, innovation has been a part of the production of sports TV. Most significantly, we’ve seen the overlaying of graphics on a live TV signal and the transition to HDTV cameras. And with more and more advanced TVs, tablets and phones, producers will continue to find new ways to hold viewers’ attention – 3DTV, five-channel audio and a range of camera-angle selections are just a few examples.
The multi-platform, multi-screen future is changing the way we interact with our content. Here are some of my predictions about the future of viewing live sports TV:
- Users will be given a choice between the main production and the editor’s choice version, while following the game through multiple cameras
- Viewers will be able to access additional statistics about the game through a companion screen rather than the main screen
- Users will control what appears on the main screen through a tablet that acts as a remote control
- The viewing experience will be a blend of the broadcast on the main screen and interactive features on a companion screen
- In a few years’ time, golf players will be allowed to have their phones on during tournaments to interact with fans through social media
- New business models and advertising options will evolve for the TV experience that we produce ourselves.