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IBM predicts US$3 billion ICT investment

The sports industry is undergoing massive changes, said Seddon.

Gitex, Gitex Technology Week

Video streaming and intense competition are driving massive ICT investment in the sports industry. Increasingly, sports events and clubs are looking to information technology to extend the reach and value of their brand beyond the audiences that regularly attend an event or tune in on TV.

“There are predictions of US$3 billion by 2025 expected spend on ICT services alone,”  Sam Seddon, Wimbledon and RFU client and programme executive, IBM.“Then you look at how sports is consumed… there are dips in attendance and dips in participation. But sports is still being consumed significantly, but it is moving to streaming environments. The numbers are something like 53% increase in minutes of sports streamed,” he added.

The shift to video streaming is inadvertently transforming sports clubs into media organisations. Seddon presented on the AI stage earlier this week about The Wimbledon Championships use of AI to improve its own media coverage. As a result of a number of initiatives the 2019 tournament experienced a major increase in online engagement as well as page and video views.

Increasingly the wealth and brand cachet of sports clubs are enabling them to challenge traditional media providers.
However, ICT investment is needed to transform the business. “We see the industry as a whole being defined from a competitive perspective by sports businesses being able to tap into the future capabilities of technology, while still being a small business and being able to maintain their competitive edge,” explained Seddon.

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