A Trend To Watch–Broadcasting Minor League Sports
What’s on Tonight? :: A Trend To Watch–Broadcasting Minor League Sports Get ready for the micro content. Remember in the film Dodgeball when they had the national dodgeball championships being covered live by ESPN 6 in Las Vegas? It just may be here sooner than you think.
Although you will not see the levels of professional production per se, all kinds of long tail sports will be pushed through IPTV. If you know somebody who plays in the minor league then a minor league game may be more important to you than any big league major game. If your son pitches for a minor league team you might rather watch this than the Yankees — if your local high school batting star makes it to the minors you just might be interested. You will be in the minority, but you — that rare person — might. Multiply that rare person by rare events and you’ve got a market. And by the way, your urge to watch it might be 10 times as powerful as the average person wanting to watch the Yankees.
First the minor leagues, then college athletics, then high school athletics and even Little League. The cost to shoot a video is getting cheaper and cheaper and even HDTV cameras are almost getting affordable. Incorporating a “live” element into it may ultimately be necessary which may complicate things but even that will be here at some point with communications cost getting cheaper and cheaper. Microcontent sports bets? We will see.
Akimbo alone won’t work. Microsoft, TiVo, Comcast, SBC, DirecTV — the big guys should all be working on developing compelling microcontent platforms to co-exist on their boxes with traditional cable and satellite regular and HD programming. Of course an Akimbo acquisition by any of the above might also make some sense in order to get a jump start. Although it might be nice for everyone to share all this microcontent I suspect that the savvy businesses will lock in exclusive types of agreements.
What will be needed? Teams of executives who can do deals really really fast. Quick deals and lots of them — and editors, lots of editors. A new position of content surfer will be created to seek out and find, organize and catalog content on the web. Where stuff is in the public domain or creative common’s it will involve pointing a pipe to this work (This by the way will spark all kinds of controversy and most likely litigation over whether or not simply pointing a pipe — a very smart pipe with descriptions, etc. — is “commercial” use). Where stuff is not free to pipe these content surfers will monitor, measure and guess the significance of content in order to justify sending a deal maker out to lock it in.
There may even be some type of non human self publishing form where people can sign up to push microcontent.
It’s going to be huge. Search will be key, organization will be key, commentary will be key, developing a comprehensive ranking system will be key.
Personally I think the guy to build it is Mark Cuban. Sports will be a good place to start. Broadcast.com part two.