AI in Sports Production: Augmenting the Creative Process
AI in Sports Production


In last month’s “Sports Video Production in Summer 2018”  blog we discussed this summer’s spectacular TV sporting calendar and how AI technology is likely to be used (although in a minor way at this stage) to improve production workflows. We rounded up that blog with three questions: What does AI mean for sports production going forward? How far can it go technically? And what would be the dream AI scenario for sports broadcasters and content owners in the future? Here’s what we think…

There are a several benefits for broadcasters and content owners when using AI technology in sports production. AI allows companies to increase their media output (clips and the highlights) up to three to five times, without increasing their labour. Let’s take football as an example: in an OB truck, two or three producers will typically create 10 to 15 highlight clips per match. Using AI production technology like Tedial’s SMARTLIVE, the same individuals can create 75 – 100 clips. They still need the truck and the people but their output, particularly to feed social media channels and YouTube, can be tripled or quadrupled.

As well as the increase in clips, media companies will also improve the quality because they can teach the AI engine to create better storytelling based on feedback from social media platforms and from users. If the producer uses the clip as supplied by the SMARTLIVE engine, feedback teaches the machine it was a good clip, and if the producer adjusts the clip, then the machine learns how to incorporate those adjustments in future clipping actions. Also, in the not too distant future, producers will be able to interlay additional media. For example if you have six cameras at a venue and you’re making a clip, you’ll be able to take multi-feeds of the same action from three different cameras and put that into the clip. This enables really compelling content that’s automatically generated.

When the 2022 World Cup comes around, AI will be fully incorporated into sports production workflows, yet technology is moving forward at a dizzying pace. There is no such thing as a five-year technology plan any more, as technology’s moving so fast and changes are happening so rapidly the consumer and the industry can barely keep up.

Looking ahead, what’s likely to happen is that AI systems will complement the industry’s highly talented directors, producers and videographers. As a result this talent will be even more in demand because they set the tone, the pace, the look and feel of the programme. The creative mix and the ability to move quickly whilst incorporating AI will augment this creative process and will significantly improve storytelling.

See Tedial’s award-winning, SMARTLIVE sports production solution at IBC 2018, on stand 8.B41. SMARTLIVE provides a comprehensive, live event solution for remote logging, PAM support and automated story-telling, leveraging AI tools and providing 100 per cent compatibility with existing PAM systems like EVS and SAM.



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