From stadium to sofa

The future of sport - how will technology shape our viewing experience

30.06.15 | Research

By Ken Saito

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Imagine having a 360-degree view of a packed Centre Court at Wimbledon, or of a college American football stadium in real-time, but you’re actually sitting on a couch in your living room, wearing Oculus. For fans that cannot watch sports at the stadium, this could be their future.

Unless you’re a season ticket holder of a sports team, most fans watch sports from outside the stadium. Watching on the TV is still the No.1 way to consume sports in the UK, and 41% of fans have paid to watch sports on TV in the past year. Many people have started live-streaming sports on their smart devices, and also watch highlights on social media, as soon as another user posts them. Most of the fans may say that none of these ways of watching the sport can get better than the actual stadium experience, however, the evolution of technology has definitely made it more exciting. High-definition televisions and surround sound speakers provide viewers a more immersive experience, precise tracking and video technology at the stadium can provide more real and accurate stats, and the Internet can make a game happening on the other side of the world, much closer.

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Further, with connected TV share to be 87% globally by 2018 - a year where there are 1.4 mobile devices per capita – sport content providers have been thinking of new and creative ways to engage with these fans.

To give some perspective on how viewing sports from home has changed, the US Open now shows footage of the event through drones and robots through its broadcast, the Six Nations broadcasts the game through Ref Cam, and BT is set to present the FA Community Shield match in 4K this August; the first major sporting event to ever do so in the UK. There are also apps out there that can push fans instant text and video highlights of the match.

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With all of this technology available today, what will the viewing experience for fans that aren't at the stadium look like in the future?

At Uniform, we are imagining how technology will shape the future of sports from the perspective of viewers, attenders of sporting events, and players of sport. This post is the first in a series of three, exploring those different viewpoints. 

Be a part of our research by taking a few minutes of your time to fill out our sports survey. Your input means a lot to us, and most importantly, you have a chance of winning a JAWBONE UP3!

The full report will be available in October 2015. 

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