- Noelle Tassey - CEO of Alley
- Julian Gompertz- Innovation Program Manager at Verizon's 5G Labs
- Emmanuelle Roger - Co-Founder and CEO of Immersiv.io
- Miheer Walavalkar - CEO and Co-founder of LiveLike
We took a look at the future of real-time sports engagement, a growing field. How will future audiences stay engaged during sporting events? How will the viewing experience be transformed in a world of increased connectivity and technological leaps forward? Review this event recap as we explore these questions with thought leaders in technology, sports, and academia.
Verizon 5G Labs:
Verizon's 5G Labs works with startups, academia and enterprise teams to build a 5G-powered world. We work on 5G trials, hackathons, industry partnerships, prototyping challenges and more.
- FloSports -FloSports is trialling a new social streaming feature via its mobile app that will generate fan noise to be used in-stadia based on users’ real-time interactions.
- Sky Sports Fanzone -Join with your friends and family to chat, vote in live sporting polls and choose your team's chant to build the atmosphere
- SF 49ers Command Center - Removing game-day barriers in real time with its SAP data war room
- PGA Tour Using Whoop during COVID 19 - PGA Tour procures 1,000 smart bands to help detect coronavirus symptoms in golfers
- ARISE Home - How Sports Teams can Engage Fans Remotely using Augmented Reality & Live Statistics
- Test case scenario- Why the Bundesliga and Vodafone moved first on 5G
Are you someone who loves live-streaming sports? If the answer is yes, then you’ll want to tune into this panel and learn more about 5G technology, and how it’s transforming the viewing experience.
In this webinar, we take a closer look at the future of real-time sports streaming—a growing sector of the industry. Our panelists dive into:
- How 5G technology has the ability to transcend the viewing experience of live sports.
- The leaps and bounds 5G technology has taken to better engage viewers.
- What this enhanced technology means for fans live-streaming their favorite sports.
- How the viewing experience will improve with this technology in years to come.
What 5G Means For Real-Time Sports
Having witnessed the growth and potential of this technology firsthand, our panelists are confident that 5G will transform the viewing experience of real-time sports.
For fans, 5G connectivity will unlock a revolutionized viewing experience from the comfort of your home. With the power of 5G, you won’t miss a beat—we’re talking all new angles, real-time updates, and a completely enhanced video quality that translates across devices. You could be live-streaming on the subway from your phone, and still feel like you’re practically in the stands.
It gets better—the power of 5G technology makes it easy to share content in high definition. Goodbye latency, hello quality! You can stream pictures and videos of real-time action in 4k, 8k, and 3D, or experience it firsthand on the stadium screens—suddenly, the nosebleed seats aren’t looking so bad anymore.
Oh yeah, did we mention that you’ll have the ability to upload content to the cloud? If you’re streaming real-time sports from your mobile device, that viewing experience—and betting, if that’s your thing—is now easily accessible from wherever you are, and with higher quality.
Streaming Live Sports Post COVID-19
COVID-19 has inevitably changed the way we watch sports—fans who once enjoyed weekly outings to the stadium are now watching from home, and missing the energy of the in-person experience.
Our panelists covered the ways in which 5G technology can enhance the viewing experience, and bring that in-stadium feeling to the comfort of your home.
Ever heard of Sky Sports? Fans, you’ll want to bookmark this one.
Half of the fun of being at any baseball game, soccer game, or real-time sporting event, is the camaraderie of cheering with your fellow fans. While it seems like we might not be back inside the stadium for a while, Sky Sports is bringing us the next best thing. With their technology, viewers can cheer for their favorite teams, queue up whatever chants they want to hear next, and even customize what that chant sounds like.
5G technology arrived just in time for sports fans this year, offering improved lighting effects, video quality, and enhanced sounds, giving viewers an immersive experience, and replicating the real feel of being in the stands. 5G technology, coupled with programs like Sky Sports, is revamping the way we stream and enjoy sports.
5G and Sports Betting
Are you that person in the office who organizes a fantasy football league every year? Or maybe you like to do a little betting with your friends?
In this discussion, our panelists touch on the impact 5G technology has on latency, and how that relates to sports betting. For those who don’t know, latency refers to the lag in streaming as the technology struggles to keep up with changes happening in real time.
Basically, 5G technology has a much lower latency. Why is that important? Now, with lower latency, you can place bets on real-time action, like whether or not a penalty shot will be a goal, or if you need to make last minute changes to your fantasy lineup right before kick off.
AKA things just got interesting in the world of sports betting.
5G and the Real-Time Sports Experience
The development of 5G technology is reinventing the way that fans enjoy sports. Best of all, as far as innovation goes, Verizon is just getting started—which means that the streaming experience of real-time sports is only going to become more immersive in years to come.
Innovation is kind of our thing here at Alley, and our team is hard at work compiling more resources, and thought provoking talks just like this one. Want more? Subscribe to our mailing list, and we promise to keep cool things coming.
Noelle Tassey 0:00
So, welcome everyone. Thank you all so much for joining us on this Wednesday afternoon. My name is Noelle Tassey, I'm CEO of Alley and I'll be the host of today's panel. In case you don't know us, Alley is a community of entrepreneurs and corporate partners leveraging innovation to create positive change. We do this by running labs and accelerators. Currently, we do them digitally as well as Speaker Series, which we're so glad you've joined us for. I also want to open with a big thank you to our partners 5G Labs, who are represented today by Julian. 5Gg Labs works with startups, academia, and enterprise teams to build a 5G-powered world. We work on 5G trials, hackathons, industry partnerships, prototyping challenges, and more. Again, thank you. They're an awesome partner and the reason that we can bring you events like this. And just a quick reminder to always check out upcoming events on our site. So without further ado, I'm going to hand it over to our panelists to all introduce themselves. So, Julian, if you wanna kick us off.
Julian Gompertz 1:06
Yeah, definitely. Hi, everybody. Thanks for joining us here, I know it's a holiday week, as well. Excited to be with you all. My name is Julian Gompertz. I am an innovation program manager on the Verizon 5G Labs team. I've been here for almost two years running 5G innovation programs and 5G partnerships with some of our key marquee partners at Verizon. It's been kind of a fun journey for us to kind of evolve and work closely with Noelle and the whole Alley team as we have kind of grown into a team that's able to bring startups and university-led research groups and enterprise partners into our 5G Labs. We've got locations across the country in New York, DC, Cambridge, San Fran, LA, we're expanding now into other parts of the country and we're expanding internationally too. So we're super excited to be a part of this program and really excited to be with you all today.
Noelle Tassey 2:02
Awesome. Thanks, Julian. Emmanuelle?
Emmanuelle Roger 2:07
Sure. Hello, everyone, and thanks for Verizon and Alley to have me here today. So I'm Emmanuelle Roger, and I'm the CEO and c- founder of Immersiv.io. As you can hear, French company based in Paris, and what we do is that we focus on reinventing the sports fan experience with augmented reality. It's been four years now. And lately, we had the chance to deploy one of our solutions for defense in the stadium with the Bundesliga in Germany over 5G and I think this— which is quite relevant to this panel today, so I'll be pleased to tell you a bit more about that use case and very excited to take part to that discussion.
Noelle Tassey 2:54
Awesome. We're so happy to have you here. And last but not least, Miheer.
Miheer Walavalkar 2:59
Hello, everyone. Thanks for having me. Miheer, I'm the CEO and co-founder of LiveLike, we have two products in the market both focused on improving the fan experience and both focused on making live sports viewing more social and a communal experience. The first one is virtual reality live streaming. We've been doing that for the past five years now and have worked with the likes of FIFA, UEFA, Fox, ATT, BBC around the world, Sky Sports is a big partner for the Premier League. In that, we use basically live stream content in virtual reality and allow fans to feel like they're at the stadium with their friends watching games together. And more recently, we also launched a new product, which is more of an SDK API-based functionality where partners can integrate our SDK into their apps to create watch parties and create fan engagement, you know, through— to using gamification. And that watch parties has become the topic du jour recently, given that every major tech company is launching this Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc. So what we're doing is empowering the right soldiers and the sports broadcasters around the world who may not have that capability in-house or don't want to focus on that capability in-house. We allow them to launch those kinds of experiences. And obviously, 5G becomes relevant because anytime you bring interactivity and live streaming into an application, low latency becomes an important point. So—
Noelle Tassey 4:28
Miheer Walavalkar 4:29
Nice to be here.
Noelle Tassey 4:30
Thank you all so, so much for joining us. So we're going to kick off today with just a quick overview of what 5G connectivity really means for real-time sports? I think these are two topics that are in their own right, you know, really, really hot topics that capture imagination. So let's really talk about the intersection of them. And this is to all three of our panelists. I don't know which one of you'd like to kick off. But just again, overview of what 5G means for real-time sports.
Miheer Walavalkar 5:05
Julian, I think you're muted.
Julian Gompertz 5:06
Oh, there we go. Let's try again. Yeah, I'm happy to just kind of quickly jump in. Obviously, a lot of the work that we've been doing, especially over the last few years at Verizon has been, you know, first and foremost, when we talk about 5G connectivity, we need to go in and actually implement and have 5G accessible and available in places that fans are going to be. So thinking about powering venues, stadiums, arenas, concert venues, you name it, that's been kind of the initial mandate for Verizon here to go in and put ultra wide band into these venues. I think the next component and the one where I think about where we are now and Noelle to your question about kind of this intersection of 5G connectivity and sports fans today, I look at this at the fan level and thinking about how 5G will enable and frankly, will empower fans to have content and access that they've never had before when going to a live event, so, you know, we're used to watching a big play in a venue, and you get to see that replay if you're at home, but if you're in the venue, sometimes you can't. So imagine a world where a fan in the venue has on their mobile device, the ability to see multiple angles of that play in, you know, near real-time on their device, you almost— you know, the fan becomes a TV director, so to speak, in the truck and has access that they've never had before. And I think those are, you know, when we start to think about some of the experiences and actually really break it down, those are the types of things that ultimately I think we're looking at for empowering kind of the next generation of sports fans today.
Noelle Tassey 6:44
Miheer Walavalkar 6:47
I'm happy, Emmanuelle if you want to go ahead.
Emmanuelle Roger 6:49
Yeah, okay. Thank you, Miheer. So maybe on this topic, around 5G, I think 5G is obviously bringing much more to the connectivity side, then what we had before. And so if we take a look at the technical aspect of it, basically we'll get improved bandwidth. So if we think about the fans, whether they're in the stadium or at home, they will be enabled to access or share more easily heavy content whether it's pictures, videos, as you said, Julian, for replays. It can be also 360° videos, high definition videos like 4k, 8k, or even 3D assets, if we think augmented reality/virtual reality, it's a specialized space— scene. So you need 3D and 3D access with Eevee. It's the same for volumetric videos. So that will be improved, obviously, with 5G but it's not only that, you get a lower latency and if you combine it to edge computing, then it's even— you get even more time in that sense. All the applications that are time-sensitive like for betting, micro-baiting, for instance, or multi-user experiences will be enabled or even possible now that when they weren't possible before. So that's another aspect, and you also get a better capacity, which means in arenas, or in any place where it's really crowded, you will get a better connectivity than you have now. And yeah, I think that those main aspects basically increase the fan experience, but it also increase— not increase but improve the fan experience, but it also improves other aspects of real-time sports like video production, like the tools for refereeing or coaching— coaches, there are plenty of areas that will be enhanced by this.
Miheer Walavalkar 9:06
Yeah, I think— I mean, I would echo everything Emmanuelle said. I mean, from my perspective, the last five, six years, I've seen a tremendous amount of innovation in the world of sports technology, media consumption. And what 5G basically does is enable all of those things from an infrastructure side. So, you know, there are— there have been plenty of companies who have been focusing on VR/AR, AI, cloud production, volumetric, as Emmanuelle mentioned as well. And you know, if even if you think about betting and enabling betting use cases, and you're trying to figure out how to make sure latency doesn't become a concern. Having that sort of capability to transmit— I mean, to upload to the cloud, you know, from the contribution side of things and on the user side, using edge computing on the consumption side of things, it just enables a lot of those experiences that previously may not have been possible just because either you needed Fiber connectivity at the stadium, which is not always possible everywhere. So it brings mobility into question as well, because right now, only those stadiums that are fully equipped or fully connected, so to speak, are able to provide those kinds of experiences to fans. But you know, with 5G that becomes a more ubiquitous offering going forward.
Noelle Tassey 10:24
Awesome. And so, I mean, I know we just talked about a whole range of opportunities that this is going to open up and I think just digging a little bit deeper with that in mind, have you guys seen any successes so far in this area of really applying 5G to the real-time viewing experience? As much as it is early days.
Julian Gompertz 10:47
Yeah, I mean, I think, look, I— you know, with everything, you know, that Miherr and Emmanuelle certainly touched on, I think there's so many different both opportunity areas— and, you know, I look at this as almost being in kind of the first quarter of opportunity, to use kind of a cheesy sports metaphor, both when thinking about 5G from like a network rollout and device adoption standpoint, but also from a creative enabler perspective and wanting fans to have access to this stuff. And, you know, I think when looking at kind of success stories or kind of, you know, early adopters to some of this technology, you know, I'm going to point back, at least from the Verizon perspective to some of the stuff that we've done over the past six months to a year in the sports space. So looking back at Super Bowl where, you know, I touched upon some of the multi-angle, you know, multi-cam experiences that we were able to demo and showcase out in Miami this past January, things like real-time AR overlay for stats and you know, bringing the box score to life. Thinking about not just the creative experience, but also starting to think about— and I'm sure we'll touch on this sooner Noelle, but you know, we can't hide from the fact that we're in a pandemic right now. And COVID is a very real thing, both now and in the future when we talk about real-time sports and fan experiences, and so thinking about some of these things from an operational perspective too. in regards to, you know, being able to manage, you know, crowd— you know, crowd management and crowd control for, you know, fans entering a venue and things like thermal imaging so that we can take temperatures of people who go into the venue, that, you know, expands beyond just that it's wayfinding to open areas of space for social distancing, it's, you know, touchless payment. And you go down the list, I think there's tons of both opportunity areas and things that we're just starting to scrape the surface on.
Noelle Tassey 12:37
For sure. And you know, I'm glad you brought up obviously the elephant in every Zoom Room so to speak, which is the pandemic. So, you know, in terms of obviously 5G kind of opening up a wide range of opportunities, especially ones that enhance real-time, at-home viewing. We're seeing— I think it was— was it the NBA today that said they were going to restart their season but in isolation, with no fans. In-home experience obviously becomes paramount for fan engagement. We already touched on watch parties and virtual hangouts, but what else are you all seeing in terms of really innovation in this area as a response to the fact that we won't be able to have fans in stadiums probably for— it feels like, potentially another year?
Miheer Walavalkar 13:25
Yeah, I mean, I'm happy to give examples of some of the things that we've been doing with league. So obviously, virtual reality and the experience of being in the stadium is something that has, you know, has shown a lot of promise but hasn't really proliferated. But this actually allows that opportunity to exist more so because you know, if your fans are not going to be able to be in the stadium, and then giving that in-stadium experience while sitting at home is an important aspect. But more than that, some of the things that we're doing, the start of the Premier League season in the UK is, you know, through our partner Sky Sports, you know, they essentially are giving fans the opportunity to make noise from home, you know, cheer for their favorite team from home. Some part of the broadcast graphics and broadcast audio is actually even— you know, you might have heard about a lot of artificial fan noise. You know, EA Sports has been in the news for giving their snippets from the— I mean EA Sports football game, to, you know, to audio broadcasts. But instead of that, just being artificial noise decided by the producers, what Sky is doing is actually allowing users to select, you know, so which chant do you want to hear next? Or, you know, what kind of noise do you express yourself? What sentiment do you want to convey right now if you were in the stadium? And depending on that interactive element through their app, the results are automatically driving Tv graphics, in-venue sounds, and the audio that the crowd listens— I mean, well, at-home audience is listening to on the TV broadcast. So this is just a way— and plenty of other partners are looking at the exact same thing. I mean, in fact, in the last three months, the number of people that have reached out to ask, you know, how they can repurpose some of our existing solutions for this specific use case, has definitely kept us all busy. So I think all of the people are trying to figure out how to get fans to cheer from home, participate from home. Obviously, watch parties, as you mentioned, is something that everyone's launching. And I— if I were to venture a guess, in the next three to six months, I would say at least a dozen broadcasters and leagues are probably going to launch features like that because that's the only— I mean, that was happening Pre-COVID as well, you know, with the proliferation of Twitch, but it just makes more sense now with everyone watch— I mean, our Zoom— you know, people are so much more used to Zoom today than ever before. So it's just become part of the normal behavior.
Noelle Tassey 15:52
You have a favorite for who's gonna kind of emerge to dominate that space? I'm curious because it does feel like every big platform is getting in on this, and you've got a lot of technical know-how kind of muscling for that same share. So do you think it's going to be I mean, the network—
Miheer Walavalkar 15:54
It's going to be LiveLike.
Julian Gompertz 15:58
I was about to say, can we pick Miheer's?
Miheer Walavalkar 16:03
No, I'm kidding. We are B2B-solutions company. So a lot of these guys look to us for providing those kind of tools for them. So— but obviously, you know, Amazon just announced watch parties yesterday, and they are obviously innovating a lot on— you know, Twitch has been the pioneer in kind of interactive engagement and communal experiences. So you know, they have all that know how from their millions of user bases— user base that they have. So if I, if I were to put money on anyone innovating, obviously, they are not your major sports broadcaster, they're getting more and more involved in it, but they still have, you know, sporadic rights here and there. But you know, from an innovation standpoint, they're probably going to be at the forefront of it all.
Julian Gompertz 16:55
And Miheer I wonder to that point, too— you talked about none of the— as far as I know, I know Amazon obviously announced, but from a communal-viewing perspective, I hadn't seen too much. Obviously, you guys are doing it, I think there are probably, you know, not the key rights holders maybe playing in this space, but maybe it is going to be companies like LiveLike that leverage this opportunity. Frankly, I know you're talking about working with some of these rights holders, but it almost feels as though that's, you know, an area of opportunity, as opposed to relying on the ESPN and Fox's and NBC's of the world who are kind of, you know, predominantly focused on all things around production programming, etc., right?
Miheer Walavalkar 17:33
Yeah, I mean, I think that one thing that's happened is a lot of these companies have actually had the time to focus on product development. You know, from a startups perspective. And I'm sure Emmanuelle has many stories such as mine, as well, where we were constantly in this evangelism phase where we're telling people why this is relevant, why they should be doing this, and the answer is always "Yes, but we don't have the time for it right now." "Yes, but you know, it's not a necessity just yet." I think what this pandemic has probably done is that it's created that necessity. And now— and more than that, it's also allowed people to actually focus on it because of the lack of programming, they have to get creative. Like. if they want to do a rerun, no one wants to watch a rerun if it's the same old rerun. But if it's a rerun with the ex-players, communicating with the audience at the same time, and telling them what they were thinking, doing an AMA while the game is going on, it's just innovation that— people have just had more of a chance and opportunity to innovate. And that's where people like LiveLike— I mean, companies like LiveLike are, you know, this is our moment to thrive in a way and take advantage of that opportunity.
Emmanuelle Roger 18:37
Yes, maybe on that topic, Miheer, I think if we think virtual reality, augmented reality, this market, these new technologies are quite young yet, still. And so for us in the sense that pandemic, the COVID, has been a positive thing because it's allowed some of our maybe high-end customers, as you said that don't have time to spend a lot of innovation on those new technologies to get more aware of the capacities of those new technologies and get a sense of— I mean it was all the social distancing we had, and the new way of working, where everyone is basically working from home, now. People got more aware of those new technologies, and maybe this market is gonna get boosted by that pandemic, even though currently, as the competition has been posted, well, we've obviously been impacted by the COVID so we can hope it will get better. And yeah, I'm wondering also with AR and VR is that we had a new dimension to the existing experience and existing platforms, it's not a classic 2D, it's 3D and we have space. So I think we can use that immersion to provide more to the fans. And if we think about what are we going to provide to the fans that are not allowed to go in the stadiums and won't be allowed to go in the stadiums when the competition will start again, I think with this immersion, we can try to reproduce the in-stadium atmosphere in the living room of the fans, And that's an advantage in a sense, because we can leverage this space to reproduce light effects, sounds, use space to get more screens, experiences, and I think in a way, it's, yeah, it may be a good way to go for the future.
Noelle Tassey 20:56
Definitely. And so, you know, we're— we've talked a little bit about how we're going to adapt to the pandemic and certain technologies that this will probably accelerate, especially in the space. But there's also I think, the question on everyone's mind of when we do come back to stadiums, what will fans need and want? And how will— how will that shift the in-stadium experience, both in terms of additional capabilities that 5G will be adding and just more generally? And Julian, I know you had some, you know, really interesting points just about how it will be able to use the network to make people feel more comfortable when they're in the stadium, which I think is like a really fascinating area of exploration because we're seeing a lot of trepidation with people even like in phase two in areas with low transmission, nervous about being in groups. So I'd love to hear more.
Julian Gompertz 21:53
It's definitely Top of Mind, just given— you know, you go back to the beginning of the year and everyone kind of puts forth a plan for what they want to accomplish, what they want to achieve, and obviously, many of the projects that we were working on, especially, you know, when thinking about the sports and in-venue space was done with the assumption that fans would be coming to the venue and interacting with certain features within the venue. And so that that shift and that pivot, as obviously had to happen in real-time over the last few months. And it's, you know, it's been, if nothing else, kind of a forcing function to think A) how do we, you know, as I talked about earlier, make the, you know, return to venues safer, better, for fans who may not feel comfortable necessarily coming to a venue in the next six to 12 months. The next phase of that is is kind of what Miheer was alluding to earlier, and Emmanuelle as well, where, you know, these big companies have had opportunities and time now to kind of sit and think through, how do they enhance their product, how do they enhance all elements and aspects of their business? And so I would expect the appetite and the fan expectation to be probably at an all time high if and when we finally do get back to attending live sports events, because the expectation is going to be, "hey, what have you guys been doing?" And so that's, you know, for us a lot of what we're thinking about is how do we anticipate and kind of meet the needs that we do expect when that happens?
Emmanuelle Roger 23:24
Maybe something else here. So what we've been seeing also during that period is that the competition were opposed to their games were to be watched, the leagues and the clubs all around the world are promoting the eSports competitions, too. And so I think the fans maybe got more aware of this sort of games or— games, competitions, and I think they will be maybe expecting more of those new ways of interacting because it does the— competition where broadcasters on platforms like Twitch where you could interact more easily with the players themselves, with the fans, with the teams. And so maybe the fans will also be expecting more of those new ways of interactive interacting in the stadium. And if we think about— I don't know if you had the chance to read that study from the sports innovation lab called the Fluid Fan, where basically it's— they say that today the fans are looking for the best of both words, the in-stadium experience where they can have here, and the at-home experience here basically at home they can get access to all the information they want. They can be multitasking, having different screens, experience in the stadium, they've got the atmosphere and I think they will be willing to get all of this. And so with this new interactions, maybe they will be willing to experience something very specific in the stadiums like, in taking parts of the show, like maybe having the possibility to, I don't know, vote for the MVP exclusively in the stadium. Or why not having a mix of the eSports world on top of the real world, why not having an eSports competition on top of a real pitch? I think they will be willing to, to get more than what they had before in terms of interaction. So that's, yeah, that's maybe something to look at.
Miheer Walavalkar 25:41
I think they both covered most of the things that I would have said, so, it's okay.
Noelle Tassey 25:47
Fair enough. We'll definitely— we'll start with you on the next one. So you know, I love— and I love the idea of doing an eSports competition in a real stadium. That is like one of those things that— really, it captures the imagination. It's kind of mind-boggling at the same time. How do you guys see this impacting— and this is actually an audience question. So you know, for those of you who are tuning in, you can use the Q&A feature at any time if you want to ask us questions and we'll pull them in on an ongoing basis. So the question is, what are your thoughts around how franchises are going to monetize in-stadium immersive experiences? So they're calling out I think the 5G showcases for the Cowboys Nexus Studios inscape technologies, but it's— no clear path to a scalable solution that the franchises can monetize. So what you guys see that as if anything, and what other opportunities are in that space for franchises?
Miheer Walavalkar 26:55
So I let Emmanuelle address the AR question because that's her domain expertise. But you know, I'll just chime in a little bit on how franchises can look at this. The way I see it is, it's not just about in-venue experiences or at-home experiences, it's the journey of the fan. And the way I see it, if you want to engage— if you want to engage your fans, it's got to be at both places, right? You know, at-home, in-venue, how do you connect the dots between, you know, is it possible to create gamification? This is something that LiveLike is working on candidly, is, you know, if I am an avid fan of the Cowboys at-home, and I'm watching every game and I'm watching— I'm engaging with every Cowboy tweet, or, you know, I'm on the Cowboy subreddit, all that kind of stuff, do I get rewarded for that fandom? Do I— you know, are there certain ways where the leagues and the clubs are actively engaging their customers on their owned and operated platforms? Not on social media. I mean, what's happening right now is most of the fan engagement, quote-unquote, is happening on Twitter, on Facebook, on Reddit and within private groups on WhatsApp. The moment— and you know, I'll give you an example. I'm a Formula One fan. I have a Formula One Whatsapp group for about a decade now with my friends who are now all over the world. We were all in New York at that time, when the group started. And we still religiously watch every race and talk to each other during the race. And, in fact, the head of digital at Formula One, when he took the job actually joined our group to see how fanatics and how hardcore fans engage with their content. The problem is, it's a walled garden, and so he knows what we're doing, but Formula One doesn't know what Miheer, here as a Formula One fan, does. And what are my likes and dislikes and what kind of content do I engage with? And who are my favorite drivers and which races do me and my friends want to go to next? If that communication were happening in their own and operated, on their digital websites, their digital app, on their social media channels— social media channel is probably not a good example, owned and operated is a good example. If I am engaging and I'm a hardcore fan, then next time I'm going into the stadium, those points— let's say this virtual points/virtual economy comes into the picture. All those points or badges or awards that I've earned for being a hardcore fan can be redeemed against in-venue. You know, FNB concession stand, discounted ticketing, merchandising, all that kind of stuff. The moment teams start doing that, connecting the at-home experience with in-venue experience, that's when I really think these become monetizable experiences. And that's when you really know who your audience is. Amazon knows it, right? So Amazon, you know, they know— the reason why they can pay all this money for their rights, is because they are not monetizing in the same way. They're monetizing— you know— they're selling groceries to me when I'm watching Prime Video, right? Like it's a completely orthogonal business model. Now maybe not everyone is going to be able to do that. But knowing more about your fan and knowing more about what their likes, dislikes, and their friends lists are, is an extremely important thing when it comes to monetizing. And that's when— I mean, I'm gonna throw it off to Emmanuelle from specifically the monetizing AR experiences, because that was part of the question, but I just wanted to make a larger point on monetizing. It cannot just be a one-stop shop, so to speak, like, okay, it's an in-venue thing, let's monetize it. It has to be a connected journey.
Emmanuelle Roger 30:33
Maybe if we think about augmented reality, I think again, as I said before, with AR and VR, we were in space so you've got space in the venue to display sponsors in 3D. So sponsor presence can be promoted with 3D animation during the game, during even— could be also many games sponsors during halftime or during the different breaks that you can have in during a game. Another option is, for instance, what we've done immersive with the Bundesliga in Germany is an app in-stadium that basically allows you to augment the pitch live with statistics that are displayed directly on the page or even players. And so concretely, you're able to point your phone or your glasses at the pitch and click on a player to select them and to better analyze their performance with heat map. So— and this is an augmented show that is available on seats where you can see all the pitch, and that could be also a way to monetize it to have AR enabled seats that gives you access to more than just to show with a live overlaid with that you can interact with during the game though that could be a way into— to go back to what Miheer was saying also with connecting the dots between the in-stadium and home experience. And with all this augmentation and immersion, basically bringing back the atmosphere from the stadium in the living room with the fans, that's also I think, a new way of streaming— watching a game that could be yeah, different— of a different price than just a streaming experience. So yeah, that's, for me, a way of ministration that I can think of currently.
Noelle Tassey 32:49
Interesting. Julian, did you want to jump in on this, or—?
Julian Gompertz 32:52
No, I mean, look, I think Miheer and Emmanuelle covered pretty much everything there. It's— for us I think, you know, I go back to A) the AR component Emmanuelle was just speaking to and then Miheer made a really good point. It's not just about in-venue or thinking about kind of the point of sale when you have a customer there, it's the entire journey. And I think, you know, that the Amazon example, I think highlights that better than just about anything in terms of, you know, different rights holders and different stakeholders in this arena, are playing from different areas of strength and weakness and have different things that they're looking to do. And ultimately, I think, you know, the revenue streams are going to be unlocked, we know that. It's just a matter of the creative folks out there kind of taking advantage of the infrastructure that gets put in place.
Noelle Tassey 33:37
Definitely. And sort of in terms of the infrastructure topics, I'm glad you brought us back to that. One thing we haven't really touched on. I think somebody mentioned it very briefly, is U.S. sports betting market which is already growing. I think it's legal in 13 states and the District of Columbia now, which I'm from DC, DC statehood— yes, it's been way too long. Anyways, so hopefully soon 14 states. How do you guys see that 5G and the rollout of 5G really impacting, you know, sports betting as a segment and the overall like, experience of betting?
Julian Gompertz 34:22
Yeah, I— go for it Emmanuelle.
Emmanuelle Roger 34:24
No, go ahead.
Julian Gompertz 34:26
No, I— all I was gonna say was, you know, in— it came up earlier but you know, I think about an NFL game for instance, you've got 40 seconds from the end of a play to the beginning of another play, and sometimes less than that. And all the things that need to happen, and this is more from a live perspective, but I think you know, betting in general is going to continue to grow and grow. But the live betting sports market, especially since we're talking about 5G, and about low latency, when you think about all of the things that need to happen in that condensed amount of time, a play ends, you need a sports book, or a bookmaker, to kind of set a line or put something up into an environment or an app or wherever. You need a consumer to engage with that, make a decision, and ultimately select the bet that he or she wants to place. And that all needs to be processed, that needs to happen in what 20, 30 seconds at most? So we're talking about so many different links to the chain that, you know, when we think about 5G and, you know, we talked a little bit about MEC earlier— Mobile Edge Compute, these are the types of tech enablers that I think are going to streamline this process and make it you know, super, super available to folks as the legal component kind of works in parallel path with it.
Miheer Walavalkar 35:43
Yeah, that covers it on my end. Emmanuelle, go ahead.
Emmanuelle Roger 35:50
No, no, I was about to get to— you know, maybe what you just said there, Julian, on that topic. I think the what 5G and low latency will bring to betting is the capacity to bet on very specific action in the game. Like for instance, if we talk European football, if you have a free kick, for instance, then you could get, I don't know, maybe a three to four second bet that you can take on whether it's going to be a goal or not. And this is not so— this is something that is not available today and it could be available tomorrow with 5G and low latency, and I think that will boost that market that is already huge.
Noelle Tassey 36:41
I'm curious if you guys, I— and you know, this is one of these questions where, as the host and not the industry expert, I might be asking something that's painfully obvious to you guys, but I'm curious with the kind of way that 5G is gonna roll out, you'll have it in stadiums, some people will have 5G-enabled devices, others will have 4G-enabled devices. Obviously, if you have a 5G-enabled device, you're going to be first in line to place a bet, based on action, based on input coming in from the game just due to low latency and an improved connection. Do you guys see like, there— that creating space for like additional regulation around sports betting if that's an unfair advantage? Or is that just kind of going to be cost of doing business and buy a new iPhone?
Miheer Walavalkar 37:28
I would not have considered that an obvious question for sure. Actually, I'm gonna go in because I haven't given too much thought to this, so maybe I'm coming in from a layman's terms as well. And then maybe Julian can talk about what, you know, what kind of work they've done around this. But if I'm not wrong, and Julian, correct me, if I am at-home and I have Wi Fi, I will get the same benefits that a 5G-enabled device will get. I don't think— it's more the difference is between 5G and Gg. But if it's— if I'm on Wi Fi at home, or if I have 5G, it's not like the 5G phone is gonna get me the content faster. There might be an advantage that 5G-enabled stadiums might have, like, you know, arenas that deploy 5G infrastructure in their arenas before others, they might have an advantage, but that's a business advantage rather than a consumer advantage. And that's probably— I would consider that a cost of doing business. But from a consumer standpoint, you should be able to get the same experiences if you're on Wi Fi that you would get if you were on 5G. Is that a fair statement, Julian?
Julian Gompertz 38:33
I think to a certain extent, it is. I think it's so hyper-dependent on you know, the Wi Fi connection, the— you know, we're gonna get super technical, which we don't need to, but at a very high level, layman's term, I think it's fair to say— especially, listen, how many devices are on your Wi Fi network at home? All of those things in terms of the, you know, amount of, you know, pipe or fiber infrastructure you need, more likely than not you're going to have that capacity in your home. To your point, Miheer, though, it's when you go to a venue, and you know, you're talking about 50,000, 80,000 people who are tugging at the 4G infrastructure there (inaudible), bandwidth and, you know, adding, you know, 10s of thousands of consumers who are going to access that network. And then there's the low latency components, which we've touched on it a little bit, but that's where edge compute and having all of this, you know, processing and all this, you know, compute, happening closer to the edge of the network, will enable these quicker experiences that we've talked about. And frankly, you know, Miheer and Emmanuelle are kind of on the front lines of building some of those experiences that will benefit from all this.
Miheer Walavalkar 39:45
And one thing— Sorry, there's a little bit of lag on my end.
Noelle Tassey 39:57
I think you're good to go, Miheer.
Miheer Walavalkar 39:59
Okay. Yeah, one thing that I— we've been thinking about on the VR side of things is actually what edge computing allows you to do is put a lot of the computing on to the edge and so not on the phone, which means that your phone is going to be enabled to do— app developers can actually use that functionality a lot more. So I'll give you an example. In virtual reality, our experiences— it— I mentioned before, it's a social experience, friends can talk to each other. There's an element of synchronization that has to go into that experience. So if all people are watching together and talking to each other, and there's latency, and you know, I'm 20 seconds ahead of you, or I'm five seconds ahead of you even, that can really ruin the user experience. Because if I am reacting to a goal five seconds before you have seen it, but you can hear me, that's a spoiler. That kind of synchronization either has to happen at the source which is during production at the field level, which is where we're doing it, or it can happen at a sub-second latency on the end computing side of things. So then even without the phone, even without the app developer actually doing it on the phone, we can communicate— the app can communicate directly with the edge device and the synchronization can happen there. Those are the kind of experiences where actually people with 5G devices will probably have an unfair advantage, I would say. So I— you know, that part, that edge computing side of things, actually, is the part where we were most excited about when we were, you know, talking to Verizon about 5G and how we can adapt our experiences, keeping 5G infrastructure in mind.
Noelle Tassey 41:33
Yeah, that's really interesting. It does feel like there's kind of that arbitrage opportunity, depending on like, what kind of device you're on and how that works. Super interesting. It'll be intriguing to see how that plays out as this becomes much more widespread. And speaking of adoption, so curious— which leagues do you guys see adopting, you know, some of the technologies we've been speaking about on this call, like who's already adopting it? Who do you see rolling it out in the next year, investing in it heavily? And also just curious al all, so if those are leagues that typically are leaders in tech adoption versus those that tend to lag.
Miheer Walavalkar 42:20
I actually see the companies that have a vested interest in 5G, the— whoever Verizon is partnering with, let's just call it— let's just put it that way. Whoever Verizon is partnering with, will be the ones adopting it first. I think, you know, you— look from my perspective, NBA has always been at the forefront of innovation and every time there is any new technology out there, they want to make sure that they are first in line. NFL obviously, because of the Verizon partnership has been at the forefront, I guess, in Germany— I mean, and from European perspective Bundesliga has obviously been going all in on 5G, Emmanuelle has worked with them. So I want to say whoever— whichever leagues partners with telcos will be at the forefront. I don't necessarily know if that's a strategic thing. I think it might just be a matter of marketing and sponsorship as well.
Emmanuelle Roger 43:14
Yes, I quite agree with you Miheer, on topic with some different use cases and demonstration around the world, whether it's in Europe, in the U.S. or in Asia. So yes — so I don't see a specific leader being at the forefront. It's— yeah, the most innovative leagues that keep being innovative, and it's not in a given part of the world, it's everywhere, and it's really dependent also on the telcos and the deployment of 5G on that topic.
Noelle Tassey 43:47
There's really no— sound like— kingmaker here.
Julian Gompertz 43:50
No, I was gonna say the good news is that both Miheer and LiveLike, and Emmanuelle and Immersiv have both had the opportunity— and we you know, from a 5G Labs perspective, have had the opportunity to work with both of them. So we've been happy to you know, bring them under the hood, so to speak and do some initial 5G mechanic work and excited to do more. But look, I think from a league perspective Miheer, what you said about the NBA, I think that that's kind of known within the industry. The NBA is always wanting to be at the forefront of this stuff. One example that came to mind that's pretty recent, that's COVID-related is— you know, again, less about the league itself. But you know, I'm a big golf fan, and the PGA Tour, I think was the first American sports league to restart. They restarted a few weeks ago, and one of the things they've been doing is they've equipped every single one of their pro golfers with the WHOOP athletic bands, and they've done that as part of an initiative to be proactive, not reactive to understanding when professional golfers may have tested positive for COVID. And it's, you know— a number of them have gone on record as saying "Hey, I got an alert that my heart rate was (I'm making this up) .3% higher than normal." And they went into test and were tested positive. So it's actually been kind of credited to, you know, preventing a more widespread, you know, COVID outbreak amongst the PGA Tour and I look at that as kind of a— it's not necessarily a 5G example, as much as it is leveraging a new kind of up-and-comer in the space in WHOOP where, you know, you think about Fitbit and Apple Watch, and they're trying to get into the athletic, you know, training space, and they partnered with a professional sports league, and now they're looking at kind of a new, inventive way to counteract the pandemic. So to me, that's just kind of a more recent example of a sports league looking to address a major concern in a way that I think is a little bit outside the box because it's, you know, one of the first times I can remember a sports league going out of their way to purchase, you know, in bunches, a device like that to prevent kind of the mass spread of you know, a disease or an outbreak so to speak.
Miheer Walavalkar 46:02
And to that point, this is the sizing ring for an Oura Ring, which NBA is going to be using. I saw that news and was like, Okay, I gotta get myself one and see if it really works. There's a 30-day return policy. And I feel like I'm their spokesman right now. But yeah, I mean WHOOP and those guys, I think PGA being the first one, you're right about that, I think. And I think there are some of these leagues that you don't usually think of as the Big Four leagues in the U.S., right? Like you usually always think of as the NBA, NHL, NFL, and baseball. But PGA Tour is doing a lot right now in terms of innovation, and especially even on the betting front, there are ways for them to actually innovate the viewing experience, which is constrained by TV actually, you know, you can't see everything that's going on all at the same time because it's so vast, it's so wide and vast, those golf courses. So they're actually— there are some leagues that I think will benefit from 5G and betting more than some other leagues, right? Is the way I look at it. You know, and some leagues might use— use 5G because of a telco partnership, but in some leagues, it actually will make a meaningful difference to them.
Noelle Tassey 47:15
Interesting. So, you know, one of the things that I think has been— and so we've got about six minutes left so I'm gonna do one last question, make sure everyone has some time to really dig in and answer this because I think you know, we've talked a lot about different ways that 5G and you know some of these really creative solves for how to enhance the real-time experience are going to creep in a lot around the edges. You might not, you know, see that, you know, edge computing is changing the way that you're betting but you'll feel, it's happening, it's materially improving your experience as a fan. But what do you guys see as kind of the first moment of, you know, "Wow! That is like totally new. I've never seen that before. My socks are knocked off"-type rollout of this technology? Because I think those wow moments when something has really arrived, that's like for most consumers who aren't— for most people are not attending this panel, that's like the moment where you're like, "oh, wow, everything is different. And it's because of this jump forward in connectivity."
Miheer Walavalkar 48:28
There are many examples. From my perspective, I think the one that probably— when I felt that, I'm not gonna lie, was when the Fortnite stuff happened where they had the concert within these multiverses and a world within a world. It's not because it was a technological feat that was never possible, before, I think people might have tried it. The sheer scale in which that it happened was probably the part that— it may not directly address the connectivity question over here necessarily, but you know, With Google Stadia, Apple Arcade, all of these big guys are now coming in and they're— and the connectivity part of what you're talking about, what Gg enables, is going to actually make those kind of experiences; gaming and connected experiences, so to speak, more and more ubiquitous. You don't, you know, with mobility in consideration, you know, you don't have to be at home, using a console to have those experiences, you can be anywhere, you know, using Google Stadia and— or, you know, Microsoft's streaming gaming service with a 5G network associated with it. It just enabled so many more experiences on your mobile phones. We already talked about how edge computing can allow for such kind of stuff to happen without requiring processor capacity on your phone. So you're not really loading your phone with crazy chips that only computers and consoles had before. So I think more and more of those experiences coming alive, which will allow these multiverses to proliferate is— I'm not their target market, but I'm amazed by what they've achieved. That's for sure.
Noelle Tassey 50:05
Emmanuelle Roger 50:07
Maybe on the topic, I think with augmented reality, virtual reality, and with 3D you can be very impressed when you see, I don't know, your favorite players appearing in your living room and celebrating, maybe after the goal they just ___ —that something that is quite new and impressive. And also with things 3D, if we think about what Intel TrueView is doing in different— for different sports, and different— different parts of the world. I think the possibility to see on your coffee table for instance, a replay in volumetric that you can turn around and— yeah, turn around. And that there's something very impressive for me, they're really the future of video experience for sports. And I don't know if you had the chance to see the commercial video from the ordinance, Microsoft in several years ago, they already had that concept integrated in what they envisioned that the future of the sports experience in it first was really a trigger in doing augmented reality. And I think volume— yeah, whether it's avatars or volumetric video is really a "wow" effect for those technologies.
Julian Gompertz 51:28
And Emmanuelle, you mentioned volumetric. I think that's such a, kind of next frontier, both from, you know, it exists today in terms of being able to capture the likeness of an athlete or somebody who goes into a volcap rig. And this is something obviously we're working on with some of our partners here at Verizon, but it's not just the capture, but, you know, are we moving closer to a place where you can actually volumetrically live stream something where now you're talking about massive amounts of data and compute that get processed in a much shorter, condensed period of time given the, you know, benefits of 5G and MEC that we've talked about. So that's one that I find super interesting, and I'm excited to kind of see more of in terms of what innovators and creators do in that space. The other one is, you know, to kind of piggyback off of, you know, what Miheer said, less of a technological invention but more of a— or creation, but more of a— I'm impressed and haven't seen it replicated as far as I know. A couple years ago, the San Francisco 49ers, when they, you know, built a new stadium, Levi's Stadium, they built kind of a command center or war room within the stadium. They powered it with something called Executive Huddle which I think was SAP. And it gave them the opportunity to react in real-time on game day to everything from "Hey, the, you know, parking lot A is full. So let's tell the attendant down there to start sending cars to parking lot B." or you know, the concession and bathroom lines are too long, or here's the best place to buy a 49ers jersey. I remember seeing it, and you know, it's not often that I think you have that "wow" moment because there's so many players in the space nowadays. But I remember— and I checked before I— you know, before we joined today, I still think they're the only ones doing something like that. And as we talk about, you know, interconnectivity and everyone having access to this network. And frankly, it may not be as much of a consumer benefit immediately, as much as it may be a kind of team or enterprise benefit. I look at the setup that San Francisco has from an NFL perspective, and I think that other teams are going to replicate it because it's going to enhance the fan experience amongst all the other creative and operational enablers that we've discussed today.
Noelle Tassey 53:40
Interesting. Okay, so it sounds like a lot of change headed soon to a stadium or a living room near you, which is awesome. Hopefully, all powered by 5G. Thank you so much to everybody— unfortunately, that's time. I would actually love to spend the next 30 minutes talking about 5G and sports betting arbitrage. So maybe like, come back next month. But unfortunately this is it for us today. Thank you all again to our panelists, to our attendees, for giving us this hour of your Wednesday. It's been really a pleasure speaking with all of you. I've learned a lot. I hope everybody in the audience has as well. And this entire panel will be available at Alley.com. We'll have a recording up and a summary tomorrow. Feel free to share it with your communities, or do as you see fit with it. Thanks again, everyone. Take care.
Miheer Walavalkar 54:34
Emmanuelle Roger 54:35
Thank you, bye.