How to Implement Artificial Intelligence in Your Sports Coverage

Overview

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is increasingly impacting the way we cover sports. It affects everything from the level of audience engagement and how we cover games, to the way the sports are played and analyzed.  Already, AI solutions are allowing automated match reports, edited video highlights and robotic cameras. It has been embraced by sports from tennis to basketball. The challenge for public service broadcasters is to navigate all the different AI technologies and apply them in a way that serves the audience more efficiently and effectively, giving them a richer experience. 

In this Master Class, EBU Academy faculty member Mark Egan will provide the necessary theoretical framework to understand the main tools to implement AI in sports coverage. You will hear from guest speakers who are using AI solutions right now and learn for their experiences. 

If you are not using AI to make the most of the media content and data you gather, your sports coverage may struggle to keep up with competitors in the years to come. This Master Class will approach AI from a practical content-creators’ perspective, helping to give structure and best practice for this important, but sometimes intimidating, topic. 

Aimed at sports journalists and editors with little or no detailed knowledge of AI and its impact on sports, this Master Class will offer two face to face modules with contribution from guest speakers currently using AI, so trainees will gain the understanding to begin using AI in their daily work.

Learning goals:

  • Help participants understand sports content opportunities such as automated capture and highlights
  • Learn which tools are available to make sports coverage more effective in gathering, producing and sharing stories
  • Give examples of how AI allows coverage of more events, more efficiently
  • Find out what AI means for the roles and skills needed in your sports teams

Who it is for:

  • Sports Journalists
  • Editors
  • Sports managers
  • Strategists

Topics Covered:

Module 1: Why AI matters to how we cover sport 

  • Understanding the key technologies  
  • The opportunities and challenges of using AI in sport
  • How AI is being used right now 

Module 2: AI to widen sports coverage 

  • AI for capturing sports action
  • Automating tasks to work at scale
  • Current use cases: what is working and what are the limitations?

Module 3: Improving the audience’s experience with AI 

  • How AI personalisation can serve your audience
  • Automating multiple versions of content using AI
  • Improving efficiency in archive retrieval and highlights

Module 4: Implementing AI technologies in sport   

  • How sports broadcasters are introducing AI in their workflows
  • Important AI trends to be aware of
  • Planning your next steps

Guest Speaker

Thomas Schoneich from the European Handball Federation will speak about the main tool they have been working with when it comes to AI is WSC Sports, as well as their work with minute.ly who use AI to identify peak moments within videos. 

Skills learnt:

Archives: How AI can analyze, tag and retrieve archive content
Artificial Intelligence: Understand how AI works and its uses 
Audience needs: How AI can serve audiences through personalisation, greater scale and machine learning
Data journalism: Why AI can make sense of big data and enhance data journalism storytelling
Digital newsgathering: Understand how AI can streamline and automate tasks
Editorial skills: How AI creates new editorial needs, roles, opportunities and challenges 
Innovation: Understand how AI can aid innovation and how to integrate it into workflows 
 

Meet your faculty

Mark Egan

Video journalist, UK

Mark is an experienced media professional with expertise in training and new ways of working both in television and multi-media environments. Prior to starting his own production and training company, he worked for 12 years at the BBC across a range of programming from documentaries to news and entertainment and helped roll out video journalism across the company.

Academy experience

Prix Italia focuses on Historytelling in Lampedusa

Work history

June 2011 – present: Trainer for organisations such as BBC, Guardian Academy, SKY,UNHCR
Training staff on multi-skilling, videojournalism and programme-making.

Nov 2008 – Mar 2010: Video journalist, BBC democracy in action Citizenship Programmes
Shooting and editing 3 hours of content for BBC 2 for use by UK Schools in Citizenship classes. This
involved filming around the UK and abroad including India, South Africa and Australia.

June 2008 – Nov 2008: Video journalist Trainer, BBC London
Training journalists to film and edit their own stories as well as creating pieces for the regional news
programme. Working with Network producers to improve camera skills and encouraging more efficient
workflows using the latest technology.

Mar 2007 – June 2008: DV mentor, DV solutions Manchester
Consulting for departments such as Current Affairs, Religion and Entertainment on programme making using
DV and High Definition cameras and non-linear editing. This included testing cutting edge technology
including HD cameras for landmark programmes such as Around the World in 80 Faiths.

Oct 2006 – Mar 2007: Video journalst trainer, BBC People
Making news packages and delivering training courses for journalists and technical staff around the UK. This
also involved being part developing new multi-skilling practices for Nations and Regions. A key part of this
was being part of the team overseeing BBC Scotland's move to Pacific Quay.

Oct 2005 – Sept 2006: Video journalist, BBC local TV Midlands pilot projet
As a trainer and video journalist was heavily involved in piloting the BBC Local TV project in the Midlands.
The new ways of working and practices are now being adopted to form part of the new BBC Local plans.

June 2004 – Oct 2005: Video journalist trainer, Sonar centre Newcastle
My brief was to help roll out Video journalism in the nations and regions. I trained both journalist and
technical staff to make television news packages. As a trainer I also worked with the BBC Young
Filmmakers project, which involved teaching pupils from inner city schools about the film production. This
involved liaising with schools in various parts of the UK and maintaining ties in subsequent years.
 
Mar 2003 – June 2004: Video journalist UK-wide and for documentaries
My role during this period included working around the country illustrating how video journalism could be
used on programmes. I also jointly produced three documentaries. During this time I won a Ruby Award for
diversity broadcasting and was short-listed for the National RTS Sports Awards.

June 2001 – Mar 2003: Reporter / broadcast journalist, South East today
Reporting, producing bulletins and researching stories for the regional television news in the South East.
This involved assignments abroad and live reporting, working conventionally with crews and editors

Skills

Journalism

  • - Degree in journalism from Rhodes University, South Africa.
  • - Co-producer for documentaries and inserts for Grandstand.
  • - Producer – Radio and television bulletins
  • - Reporter for regional news programmes around the UK.
  • - 5 years of experience as a producer, newsreader and reporter for BBC Radio Kent.
  • - My training roles have included multi-media journalism training and creative storytelling.

Cameras

  • - Experienced in use of Z1, A1, PD 150, DSLR and EX1 cameras.
  • - Trained in using larger DSR cameras.
  • - Rigged the Yorkshire Air Ambulance with cameras for the “Helicopter Heroes” programme.
  • - Skilled in using minicams for secret filming and mounting in vehicles.

Editing

  • - Experienced user of Final Cut Pro and AVID, as well as a number of other editing systems.
  • - Good working knowledge of other editing software including Newsflash and Liquid Edition.

Training

  • - Experienced making programmes related to school curriculums.
  • - Have developed online multi-media training modules for use by BBC staff..
  • - Undertaken training for the Training and Development Agency training teachers.
  • - Experience in planning and running extensive courses at BBC Training and BBC College of Journalism.