La Liga president: OTT streaming platform is key for the future

La Liga president Javier Tebas believes OTT streaming platforms and other technology-based long-term planning is vital to secure the future growth of the Spanish competition.

While the effects of the coronavirus pandemic have forced the football industry into action, Tebas explained it should not come at the expense of exploring different revenue sources.

Speaking at the World Football Summit last week, Tebas outlined La Liga’s long-term plans which will centre on growth in the important digital sphere.

“We’re already working on a 10-year plan,” Tebas revealed.

“There’s already an understanding of what’s coming with regards to audio-visual rights, to technology and to over-the-top (OTT) platforms, which are here to stay. All of this means there’s a need to make plans for a long-term period of transition.”

“I think over these next 10 years, the most important thing for us will be the digital ecosystem,” he continued. “We’ve been working on our digital ecosystem for several years and have invested a lot of money in this, in the likes of OTT and anti-piracy.”

According to Tebas, these investments are needed because the value of audio-visual rights are unlikely to continue to grow at the same rate of the past decade. While the pandemic has contributed to this, the downturn in the market could even be seen before coronavirus affected all of our lives.

Factors like these are the reasons why the president feels it is necessary to turn to alternative revenue streams.

“There are other sources of revenue that we’ve been working on over the years that can be significant and that we think can help us complement the growth [in audio-visual rights income] that might not be two-digit growth,” he continued.

“There’s the digital sphere, there’s OTT and other types of products that you can offer to fans around the world.”

La Liga’s current OTT service, La Liga SportsTV, launched at the beginning of 2019, however primarily offers only lower profile sports in Spain.

As well as creating a platform for these sports, it has also given La Liga a wealth of information in regards to OTT streaming, which will be extremely useful in the years to come.

When asked whether the Spanish competition would ever consider introducing its own version of the NBA League Pass subscription model, Tebas stated: “Certainly. It’s a clever model for a competition’s growth. We’re already working on it and are in an advanced stage of a possible La Liga Pass.”

The president explained that such an offering would not compete with broadcasters, but rather complement existing partnerships.

“La Liga Pass is a product that would be adapted for each territory in the world and that can be offered in collaboration with the audio-visual broadcaster in each territory,” he said.

“It’s a product that could be directed at people who really like La Liga, the super fans, but are living in a territory where the broadcaster only shows a few matches and some highlights. You would be giving these fans more of what they want, which will help the broadcasters to have more value.”

At the centre of any digital growth, there will always be a need for good data capture and analysis, according to Tebas. “If you don’t have a good OTT and good artificial intelligence for all your data, then it won’t help your broadcasters much.”

While Tebas announced his long-term plans for the competition at the summit, in the short term, La Liga has adjusted its economic controls to ensure the game manages the setbacks of COVID-19.

“Reading the accounts from last season, many small and medium-sized clubs are still turning a profit in spite of the coronavirus situation,” he said.

“Next year, there will be profits too because of our economic control. La Liga, in collaboration with the clubs, decides ahead of time how much can be spent, based on income.”

“This had to be a transition year in the sense of signing players,” he concluded. “But these are the responsible measures to take if we are going to meet our collective long-term objectives.”

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Philip Panas is a sports journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and industry matters, drawing on his knowledge and passion of the game.

Playermaker: Innovation of data tracking technology

Playermaker is the world’s only foot-worn data tracking device that allows coaches to gather real-time data from each individual player using the devices sensor strapped to their boot.

Playermaker is a sports technology company that was founded in 2017 by Guy Aharon & Yuval Odem who formerly served in the Israeli Defensive Forces.

Playermaker offers sports technology products that are designed to provide valuable data and insights to players, coaches, and teams.

It enables users of all skill levels to measure to seamlessly access a range of data points that can pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of their game.

Teams in particular can gain a deeper insight into the development of their players using the in-depth statistics that the Playermaker provides.

The company has partnered with hundreds of elite clubs and federations worldwide including a partnership with current Premier League champions Manchester City.

Playermaker is FIFA approved and is the first athlete performance monitoring system to successfully complete the challenge set by the FIFA Innovation Program, gaining the EPTS FIFA Quality certificate.

About CityPlay

Using their partnership with Manchester City, Playermaker also released ‘CityPlay’ that combines Playermaker technology with Manchester City’s Player development methodology.

The app is designed to help your child develop and involves many interesting features that can keep parents or coaches on top of their performances like never before.

Measuring over 25 metrics, CityPlay provides the most relevant data for creating training programs, benchmarking performance and tracking progress. With the metrics that matter you can set goals, measure progress, analyse performance and improve easier and faster.

There is also an option to watch personalised in-app videos from Manchester City coaches and experts to help accelerate your child’s progress.

How it works:

6-Axis Motion Smart Sensors

Built with a gyroscope and accelerometer that samples movement events at 1000 times/sec, which allows the measurement of every micro-movement, including impact with the ground, with the ball and the rotation of each foot.

Strong but seamless straps

Two waterproof sensors (L+R) located inside the durable silicone straps, suitable for all playing conditions. The straps comes in 2 sizes (M / L), to fit kids adults, women and men alike.

Training Highlights

Tracks 15+ football specific metrics including touches, total distance, kicking power, sprint distance and intense turns.

This helps users examine their training performance using the different metrics to help them improve for matchday.

Match Skill Scores with others worldwide

There are three Match Score Factors: Age, Gender and Position.

Scores range from 40-99 for each skill. A score of 99 indicates your performance placed in the top 5% of your segment, while a score of 40 indicates the same, but for the bottom 5%.

This allows players to compare their statistics and scores in each metric with others in the same category to suggest where the player needs the most improvement.

Proprietary Rating System

An objective skills rating system, that covers both physical and technical abilities, obtained during
real world scenarios of match play.

1. Objective, AI-based measurements of both physical and technical skills
2. During in-game situations, without interference
3. Developed using global age and gender benchmarks

Other Features

  • Requires no infrastructure, Wi-Fi or GPS signal to collect data
  • Bluetooth operated Device to sync the data
  • Track your progress over time using trends of past stats that have been recorded

Sky is the limit for Playermaker’s device, and the technology can certainly be adapted in other sports, however the company is currently focusing on maintaining its excellent growth in football.

As the company has expanded in the football industry, it is providing the world stage with incredible innovation that can help clubs of all levels with talent identification, analysis and tactical insights.

The company is yet to partner with an A-League club and there is a huge opportunity for a club in Australia to enhance their data tracking and analysis systems.

As the league starts to prioritise talent identification and player development over the influx of failed marquees, using this technology is a perfect way to improve in that aspect and delve deeper to potentially produce more talented Australian footballers.

How CTN recovery technologies enable longevity in careers

CTN are a Finnish-based technology company dedicated to providing cutting-edge devices that assist in optimal recovery.

The importance of recovery across the lives of athletes, professional, semi-professional and amateur sport participants is at the forefront of the Finnish outfits’ ideologies.

The link between completing a recovery routine and long-term health is often overlooked. As the specialists in (cold) cryotherapy devices, CRT are looking to bridge the gap between the two aspects; Making recovery more convenient and effective for people across the globe.

Developments in the advancement of their current technology are compounded by the creation of new devices. The sole mission of the company is to ultimately promote recovery efficiency while improving the well-being of its users, all from the comfort of their own home through a vast number of alternating recovery devices.

The devices have many uses. Not only used as a form of pain relief, but can be used as a form of prevention for injuries, reduction of stress, prevention of illness, and to slow the human ageing process.

As the official partner of the Finnish Olympic Committee, the company is active in multiple professional sports and physical activity body’s around the globe – none more involved than the global phenomenon of football.

CTN’s headquarters.

Footballers of today’s current generation are under enormous physical endurance pressures. In 2020, a determined and willing 18-year-old by the name of Pedri, within his maiden season with Barcelona, had played 75 games of football for both the Catalonian based outfit, and the Spanish national team. It was an effort in which was mirrored by Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes, who amassed 74 games.

With the installation of new tournaments and competitions on both a domestic and international scale, the athletic performance of a footballer has never been more crucial.

The workload involved in playing at the highest level without recovery could simply not occur.

The embodiment of this is showcased through current Chelsea FC defender and Brazilian legend Thiago Silva, who partnered with CTR in 2023.

The 39-year-old centre back is well and truly in the twilight stages of his decorated playing career. Working in conjunction with CTR as a promoter of the technology company, he is an avid user of several high-quality devices all from the comfort of his own home.

For magnetic muscle stimulation, the X-Tone device is applied to muscles in need of repair. This occurs after they’ve been used to their highest capacity.

Muscle strength and endurance is achieved through the X-TONE’s non-invasive yet effective magnetic muscle stimulation.

Development of the muscle is fast tracked through immense stimulation, stimulating the targeted muscle area with over 20,000 contractions over a 30 minute session.

There are a vast variety of benefits for athletes found in exposing the body to artic like cold temperatures in small bursts.

The reduction of inflammation, pain relief and improvement of circulation, alongside sustaining mental sharpness are just some of the many benefits found in cryotherapy.

Cryotherapy in the form of ice baths have been a focal point of athletic recovery for generations.

Through this new exciting innovation, gone are the days where athletes have to hobble to the shops to purchase ice bags to use in the shallow bath hub at home, as their ‘ice bath’.

With an understated acknowledgment of the current peak physical condition required for footballers to fulfil their playing obligations, it has reached high capacity. Devices crafted by a company dedicated to an athlete’s recovery are frankly commodities which must be utilised by those who wish to participate at their optimal athletic level.

CTN devices are evidently fundamental for a players recovery and longevity. It was no surprise to find that consummate professional Thiago Silva uses the Finnish company’s products.

Nearing 40 yet being physically able to play on a weekly basis in arguably the best league in the world, is a feat not achieved without having proven variables surrounding the player.

Going forward, are we going to see more players within the Thiago Silva plethora by extending their careers through the use of advanced recovery technology?

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