Is Online the Future of Sports?
Since the 1960s, most people’s attitudes on professional sports have remained unchanged. It’s still primarily a one-way, live, linear broadcast to a screen. Switch on a game and see what happens. However, we are entering a new era in which sports will be untethered from their television roots and integrated into more aspects of our lives.
Professional sports have long been primarily produced for the enjoyment of the fans in the stands, with cameras there to catch the action for television viewers at home. Unfortunately, that’s the opposite of how most other TV and video programming works. The majority of programs are made for television. If there is a live audience, it is only to add excitement and real laughter or applause.
When pro leagues played games with no one in the grandstand during the pandemic, they effectively played in a large studio like a form of virtual sports. This realization is prompting leagues to ask, “What would be different if a game were produced in a studio mainly for off-site viewers?” Imagine being able to put cameras wherever, even on small drones. Every sound, such as trash talk between players during a game, might be recorded.
Traditional sports facilities and playfields could be reimagined in virtual arenas to increase excitement. Tomorrow’s tennis pros, for example, may be able to move in three dimensions rather than two on virtual reality courts. This could be made possible by three-dimensional, full-body virtual reality systems that allow you to feel and experience the world around you while wearing a virtual reality suit.
Simultaneously, data is being collected in never-before-seen ways during sporting events. Athletes use equipment to track their movement and impact. This is setting the stage for a boom in interactive sports gaming. Fans will watch a game and analyze data on the teams and players in real-time. Fans will find game-watching more exciting and appealing due to this type of interaction.
It will become easier to locate content to watch as more leagues, and sports adopt streaming. For sports fans, however, this is just the beginning. The days of looking at a screen for three hours are about to give way to something more engaging, personalized, and accessible.
When you watch a game, you may have the option of choosing who you want to call the game for you—the ordinary crew, a regular fan who is cheering as loudly as you are, or a movie-star crew. Of course, you could eventually be able to enter the virtual booth yourself.
The closure of sports leagues prompted sports lovers to seek other options. Many found one in esports, which involves watching professional gamers play video games. On the other hand, esports had been rapidly increasing before the outbreak. Esports revenue is increasing at a quicker rate than any other area of media and entertainment. Because esports is considerably more accessible worldwide, it is self-evident that it will be even greater than professional leagues.
Spectators and participants in today’s events expect to be digitally engaged while watching. Gamification — the transition of viewing into playing – is the most effective technique to deliver digital engagement. While the competitive esports community is still considerably smaller than the real-world sports community, esports shows fans a different future.
The advent of new virtual reality gaming experiences, which are turning esports into physically active experiences, is the most recent revolution that brings these two worlds even closer together. While it may take a few years to properly understand the impact of esports, the rise of mobile and virtual reality gaming combine to create an exciting promise for the future of the sport.
According to rumors, the International Olympic Committee is looking into virtual reality to incorporate esports into the Olympic program. As a result, new types of sports, rather than virtual replicas of today’s sports, are expected to arise. Talks about the 2024 Olympic Games program in Paris are still ongoing.