Back in the dim and distant past, the only way that a dedicated sports fan would be able to guarantee that they could see their favorite sports team was to go down to the ground where they were playing and see them there. But technological advances changed that, and the arrival of the television meant that it became possible to see live-action sports as they happened
In the modern age, however, there are even more technological options available for those wanting to watch sports events – leading to larger, easier to reach audiences. Thanks to the Internet, sports teams are enjoying extra fans, more airtime, and consequent funding. This article will explore how sports teams are growing their fan bases all the time thanks to the increasing power of tech.
The rise of streaming
When you think of the latest developments in the media world, the word “streaming” is likely to be high on the list. Streaming refers to a broadcast which is made over the Internet in an “on-demand” setting, as opposed to a terrestrial or a digital television broadcast. Streaming can be both legitimate and also illegal, depending on the type of service you use. Here in India, there are all kinds of legitimate sources for streaming sports games online.
The rights-approved service SonyLIV, for example, is believed to have been used by 70 million people in India over the course of the football World Cup last year. Illegal streaming of sports matches is also believed to be common – and while this may mean a reduced audience size for the television channels, it’s still good news from the point of view of on-pitch advertisers and sports promoters looking to build a base of merchandise buyers, and season ticket holders.
But whether you choose to watch online via a streaming service, or you simply decide that you want to watch through what is now an increasingly old-fashioned mode of viewing (television), it’s definitely the case that you’ll be able to catch it in better quality. Gone are the days when people found themselves having to hunch around a tiny television in order to catch a glimpse of a cricket match or other big event. Now, it’s possible to view these kinds of shows in high definition.
This has undoubtedly affected sporting audiences, as it means the viewing experience is more pleasurable and easier on the eye. Those who may previously have decided that they weren’t fans of the Indian national cricket team or the Indian football team may now catch a few minutes of the sport in question and watch it for a while – which, from the point of view of a sports team’s promoters and audience, is still very valuable.
News and hype
A more subtle but no less important manner in which technology has changed the face of sports audiences is the way in which technology has increased the amount of hype around sport teams and players. Fan bases are now more engaged than ever thanks to the rise in the amount of content that is produced pertaining to the topic. Take cricket, which is well known for being India’s national sport: social media pages which produce cricket 2019 news are ever-popular, and the ever-scrolling content serving format of Facebook and Twitter means that there is no end to demand for sports content. A page for Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli, for example, has over 37,000,000 likes.
The network effect of this sort of technology is immense. When a user likes a post on a page like this, for example, those to whom they are connected will then see that content and potentially engage with it themselves. In the context of a growing, highly technology-savvy population, this is the sort of system that has the power to develop sport fan bases for years to come.
Technology has affected almost every facet of a consumer’s life in recent years – and those who view sports games and contribute to the building of team by team fan bases are no exception. With technology now so ubiquitous in the sporting world, everything from top-quality broadcasts to convenient streaming services and social media is contributing to larger audience sizes. From the perspective of the fans, there’s more choice than ever – and for the promoters of sports team audiences, the money and prestige is out there for the taking.