Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Diversity helps sport take over app market

Diversity helps sport take over app market
"iPhone" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by renatomitra
Sport and mobile technology have enjoyed a fruitful relationship since the rise of handheld devices over the last decade. We could argue that no sector has better used the mobile platform to enhance their audience’s experience. Seemingly almost every sport has a host of apps available, providing extensive coverage and also using the technology to offer new insights and features to users, especially in online betting markets.

Watch goals through an app

An example of how the app platform has taken the sporting world by storm is the fact that this season goals from the Premier League can now be viewed on mobile devices before they are aired on television. Licensing laws in the United Kingdom prevent 3pm matches from being shown live on TV, with the earliest opportunity to see highlights coming only in the late evening, on either Sky Sports or BBC’s Match of the Day.

The Sky Sports and Times app have given football fans the opportunity to view goals right after the 3pm kickoffs have ended, meeting a huge demand for impatient followers of the Premier League. Should the system continue to be a success then it might not be long before games are streamed solely on apps, which has already occurred in the NFL. For the 2016 season Thursday Night Football has been streamed on Twitter in collaboration with the league and CBS. Although the matches on a whole have failed to attract the same ratings as the last campaign, the results from Twitter have been a success.

Diversity helps sport take over app market
"Schlupp on the ball" (CC BY 2.0) by Ronnie Macdonald

This will no doubt have caught the attention of the NFL and sporting organizations across the world. It would be no surprise to see other sports follow in their lead, which could see events like the Champions League final feature on social media app in the near future.

The rise of fantasy sports 

One of the leading activities in sports fandom is fantasy gaming. The majority of football fans in the UK and the USA will be part of a fantasy team, whether it’s the Premier League or the NFL. As a result, the demand has been met through several apps, but the official products from both leagues have proven to be extremely successful.

Fantasy is all consuming to passionate supporters, as displayed in the television show The League. Having the opportunity to monitor your team on the go and be aware for pickups on the waiver wire has made it an ideal match for mobile users, while it has also included video features to track players on your respective team.

Arguably the biggest area of sport that has benefitted from the revolution of mobile technology are betting companies. Customers are able to gamble on the go on events they may be attending themselves. A punter with a good knowledge of how the match is faring will be tempted to reach into their pocket and have a bet just because it’s readily available.

New features such as cash-out lend itself perfectly to this market, which enables the user to take money that is on offer in a live bet. If a user was simply on a home computer the idea may not be as enticing as they may have to leave the house, potentially missing out an opportunity of a win.

The different facets of sport allow diverse apps to be produced, which is why it has become so entrenched across mobile technology. Expect the trend to continue as further developments are made on portable platforms. Streaming services may soon overtake traditional television with the rise of Netflix and Amazon, which could change the sporting landscape and Sky's dominance of almost all sporting events, especially the Premier League.


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