Fox Sports, IBM Team Up for FIFA World Cup

While players will be ripping up the pitch in Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, US-based FOX Sports and IBM have launched an historical AI collaboration across multiple FOX Sports properties and programming – the first of its kind for the broadcaster.

With 64 matches played over 32 days by 32 competing teams, the World Cup is one of the most highly anticipated global sporting events. The 2014 World Cup attracted 3.2 billion viewers on television and an estimated 280 million online viewers. Overall, 98,087 hours of video footage was broadcast to billions of fans. That requires a huge amount of processing power to streamline production workflows.

Beginning with the 2018 FIFA World Cup, FOX Sports is tapping IBM Watson Media’s specialised AI video technology and IBM iX’s proven expertise in designing user experiences to streamline production workflows to quickly classify, edit and access match highlights in near real-time. The advancements to production and distribution will enable FOX Sports to curate engaging video clips and match highlights so that sports enthusiasts back home don’t miss a single play, penalty kick, or goal.

The collaboration kicks off with the launch of The Highlight Machine. This interactive experience, designed and developed by IBM iX, one of the world’s largest digital agencies and global business design partners, empowers fans to browse FIFA’s archive of past matches and effortlessly create custom highlights from both the historic footage and content from the 2018 tournament. Fans can customize highlights by year, team, player, match, and play type within seconds and share their favourite FIFA moments with the world. Soccer fans will be able to view and filter highlights by team, player, timeframe and type of gameplay like penalty kicks and goals. To extend the post-match conversation on social media, viewers can save, favourite and share highlight reels as well as catch up on games by speed-watching critical, automatically generated clips.

“We are delighted to be working with IBM, a leader in the technology space, to help enhance fan experiences and engagement,” said Sarah Tourville, SVP of Sports Brand Activations, FOX Sports. “Our collaboration affords us an opportunity to utilize their technology across multiple properties, helping to drive engagement for our tentpole events in non-traditional ways.”



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