When OTT Gets Smarter: Dynamic Highlights During Live Games

We often read about new interactive features that distinguish OTT services from traditional TV and sometimes we struggle to define that properly.
There are many facets of why that is, business model, Live and VOD vs linear channels, user experience.

I must say the industry has been shy at best to introduce innovation in the viewing experience and i would say there good and bad reasons about it.

The good reason is “users need familiarity”, they need to have a frictionless experience, and live sport has such a long tradition that adding or changing anything may be problematic.

The bad reason is complacency in a market that has been working in the same way, with the same rules and mechanic for too many years.

But, needless to say, it’s never easy to get new ideas adopted, the concept of creating new paradigm for sports consumption has to go through the classical product management model plus one.
We normally say that a new product must be valuable, usable, feasible; we must now add marketable.
If you can’t create a story for it that will resonate with the public you are targeting, then don’t even start. It’s a key component of the whole effort.

Some may say — not a big fan of that sentence — “What problem are you trying to solve here?”
In general: bringing joy and excitement to fans of any sport worldwide, but more precisely in this case: giving context to the live experience when you enter a game after it’s started. This will make you enjoy the game more and possibly make you watch more games live and on-demand.

Here is an example.

NFL Game Pass “Dynamic Highlights” during live games

I have been exploring in the beyond TV ecosphere since 2007 when the first video technology with beyond linear capabilities was available (for the nerds that was Move Networks at the NBC office 30 Rock NYC — then it was MS Silverlight and then everything else).

When you have more capabilities you need to start thinking user first and understand what those can do for whom is consuming sports and in this case live sport.

One of the latest addition this season has been the option to watch a quick highlights of the key events every time you start watching a game that is already in progress.

When many games are being played at the same time and you look to wander around it’s good to be put in context.

Let’s see how it works.

Starting from the home screen you access the game that is currently live, Chiefs at Raiders Week 11 in this case, at 3 am CET (I wake up for the kids I stay for the football).

You have a selection of watching the game live or start from the kick-off. In this case I selected the live option where the Dynamic Highlights are available.

As you enter the game you may notice the timeline at the bottom of the screen withy all main events highlighted (touchdowns!) and at the center top a small window that let you select the dynamic highlights option for viewing (which will last in this case 4 minutes and 35 seconds (quite some action).

You then enter the Dynamic Highlights watching mode in which the main screen is dedicated to the key actions and a small window picture-in-picture (PnP) keeps you informed about what is going on live.
You can now watch the first touchdown for the Raiders.

What is basically happening is that while you have access to the whole video and can decide in any moment to quit and go to the live action or move anywhere in the video by clicking on the timeline, the Dynamic Highlights mode does automatically move the video to the next relevant action, one by one.

You are basically being moved on only those white segments of the timeline where we have identified there is some cool moments you MUST WATCH.

So it’s time for a Chiefs touchdown this time.

While you are going through this recap you can at any time keep an eye on the picture-in-picture live game and enlarge it by hovering the cursor on it, and whenever you are willing to stop the highlights watching go directly to the live action. Otherwise the system will remove the PnP live game and make it the main screen when all the highlights moments have been watched.

All of the above is achieved by using the Deltatre Diva player and video platform, it’s available on the web version for now and will be ported to more platforms ion 2021.

As you may know I am the Group Chief Evangelist at Deltatre.