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5G network driving the future of sporting events

With greater internet speeds, the possibilities are endless as 5G connections roll out around the world.

The evolution of mobile phones has helped shape 5G offering greater reliability and fast service – with the step up from 4G.

What does this mean for soccer clubs? More ways to promote their content and in turn give the fans what they crave.

In an ever-growing population and greater need for internet usage, it’s important to understand what 5G is capable of. Basically, it reduces the likelihood of slower internet speeds when the vast majority of people are online.

When fans go to watch a game, they must have live and uninterrupted data. It’s a frustrating feeling when you want the information but can’t get it right away or even at all.

The 5G network is a powerful resource, able to cater for the thousands of fans who turn up every week. As for the future, 5G is designed to keep up with the demand for people’s needs, but also allows clubs to venture into areas they haven’t been before.

As everyone is equipped with a smartphone, apps have become extremely important. 5G technology can assist supporters from finding their seat to checking out all the latest stats – it is designed to respond without delay. The improvements achieved from 5G should be clear for everyone to see.

In this day and age, people want the very best content but also in an efficient time frame. The days of waiting too long will be soon forgotten

2021 AFCON switches to winter due to heat

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has made the decision to move the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) to the months of January and February, going against its plan to have the tournament during summer.

The AFCON has formerly seen winter months at its traditional time slot and is due to take place from January 9th to February 6th 2021. .

The African governing body, currently being presided over by FIFA General Secretary Fatma Samoura, cited extreme heat as the reason why they they made the decision to move the competition, however it also now prevents a clash with FIFA’s expanded Club World Cup in June 2021.

CAF’s announcement follows discussions with the Cameroon Football Federation (FECAFOOT), the host nation’s governing soccer body.

CAF Deputy General Secretary Anthony Baffoe confirmed the association’s decision.

“We have reviewed the period of the competition as requested by the Cameroonian party due to unfavourable climatic conditions during the period initially slated,” he said.

“After listening to the various arguments and viewpoints, and in particular from the Cameroonian meteorological authorities, the coaches and players; the representatives of the Afcon organising committee, which received the mandate from CAF Executive Committee to take the decision, has granted this request.”

English Premier League clubs are most likely to be affected with this news – the heavy scheduling around January time could mean that teams may miss key personnel for up to six games.

Some of the African stars that will depart across EPL sides:

  • Liverpool – Sadio Mane (Senegal), Mohamed Salah (Egypt) & Naby Keita (Guinea)
  • Manchester City – Riyad Mahrez (Algeria)
  • Arsenal – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon) & Nicolas Pepe (Ivory Coast)
  • Manchester United – Eric Bailly (Ivory Coast)
  • Leicester City – Wilfred Ndidi (Nigeria)
  • Crystal Palace – Wilfried Zaha (Ivory Coast) & Jordan Ayew (Ghana)
  • Everton – Alex Iwobi (Nigeria)

The biennial African national team tournament was meant to be hosted by Cameroon in 2019 but was reassigned to Egypt because of building delays, which lead to the Ivory Coast now hosting the tournament in the summer of 2023.

Despite having more construction time last year, Cameroon will need to get everything right six months earlier.

The 2019 tournament was won by Algeria through a 1-0 victory over Senegal in the final.

Merseyside Derby reaches two million viewers on Amazon

Just over a month since their debut as a domestic broadcast partner of the top-flight English Premier League, Amazon has already been a hit with fans.

The Merseyside Derby between Liverpool and Everton peaked in popularity as the match reached approximately two million viewers, according to online media outlet Digiday.

That number is comparable to the amount of people using pay-TV broadcaster Sky Sports when the two clubs previously played each other in March.

To put into perspective how Amazon has taken off, Sky announced earlier this week that Liverpool’s 3-1 victory over Manchester City in November drew an average of 3.36 million viewers, a figure that made it the third most-watched Premier League broadcast in the network’s history.

With Amazon already close to what Sky is achieving, it goes to show where the future of broadcasting may be heading.

According to Digiday, the US technology giant’s first year as a Premier League broadcaster was relatively well received by advertisers. Major brands such as Coca-Cola, Duracell, Heineken, Mercedes Benz and Papa John’s joined on as partners, though buyers have concerns about the data they have received from the streaming platform thus far.

Amazon did not release its viewing figures publicly, while agency executives reportedly received reporting on their specific campaigns from the company this week.

Digiday reports that Amazon’s starting prices offered to advertisers were a cost per thousand impressions of UK£50 (AUD$94) for a broadly targeted adult audience for ‘Tier A’ games, UK£45 (AUD$84) for ‘Tier B’ and UK£40 (AUD$75) for ‘Tier C’ matches. These are understood to be two to three times the price of ads that Sky has sold for similar Premier League games, although in both cases the final prices were subject to negotiation.

When it came to ad performance, the buyers who spoke with Digiday gave a mixed verdict, with below – by as much as 30 per cent – and above expectation impressions reported against Amazon’s initial forecasts.

Going forward, buyers told Digiday that they would like to add access to Amazon’s first-party data, and the option to add their own tags to ads for attribution purposes.

Despite reaming coy with its viewing figures, an Amazon spokeswoman said the 3rd and 4th December were the ‘two biggest Prime sign-up days in UK history’, adding that ‘millions’ of customer streamed the live broadcasts, without clarifying the exact figure.

James Johnson set to shake-up FFA structure

New Football Federation Australia (FFA) CEO James Johnson says addressing how the organisation can adapt to constant change will be one of his biggest priorities.

Speaking in front of media for the first time since his introduction to the CEO role, Johnson has come with a plan to transform the FFA into an organisation fit to handle any challenge that comes its way, both in a local and international scale.

Here are some of the key points that Johnson made as part of his introduction, where he discusses how the FFA needs to signal its intent as it aims to become a leading and respected organisation in the global world.

Related Story: FFA’s appointment of James Johnson is promising but where in the world does he start?

He outlines where he thinks FFA is at today and what he’s seen.

“The FFA has been through a very challenging period, which in our history in football has been the most transformational we’ve been through,” he said.

“In 2018 we went through the congress reform – during my time at FIFA I got to see many of these all over the world and know what sort of transformational change come as a consequence of these reviews.”

“We’re also in the midst of the unbundling of the A-League and this is a step in the direction of professionalisation, it means the Australian football governance framework is becoming more sophisticated.

“We also need to look at the domestic environment we’re operating in, as a football community and we’re shifting to a model where stakeholders are participating in a meaningful way more so than in the past.”

Having spoken about the need for change, Johnson outlined the specific plan and vision that will build towards a more sustainable future for FFA.

“I’d like to see the FFA become a really unified organisation,” he said.

“The FFA needs to connect the game together, including the stakeholders, government and commercial partners.

“This is a role the FFA can play, and should become a football first organisation and drive the football agenda.

“The third theme is the organisation transforming from something local to one that thinks globally.

“We need to acknowledge this is a global sport with many opportunities and learnings that we can bring back to the Australian game.”

Australian football has seen some complex and pressing issues over recent years – as Johnson commences his duties he is aware of some key topics that need addressing.

“We need to finalise the unbundling of the A-League,” he said.

“We need to find a governance model where both the league and FFA need each other to both grow.

“There’s many good examples that exist out in the global world of football and I’m hoping I can bring this experience back to add value in these discussions.

“We’re obviously bidding for the Women’s World Cup in 2023, this is an ongoing process and part of it with a decision in June.

“This is another immediate priority and we need to look at how we best position ourselves as a leading candidate to win the Women’s World Cup hosting rights.”

Perhaps one of the biggest talking points in Australian football is the desire for a national second division that pits National Premier League sides against top-flight A-League opposition.

Johnson confirmed that it is in his interest to introduce this and are going through a process about how the competition structure would change.

“We don’t have a second-tier competition but these discussions are happening,” he said.

“I don’t see any reason why we cannot have a second tier competition.

“I’d like to look at the FFA Cup and also the NPL and how we grow these products.

“One learning that I’ve had being involved in the Champions League discussions is that every year a great competition like the Champions League is reviewed and discussed with stakeholders at the table trying to make the competition better every year so it continues to grow.

“I’d like to have a look and discuss women’s football – this is a real key priority now all over the world.

“You’ve got FIFA, UEFA and big European clubs all investing in this area, so how do we on this side of the world be a major player in the global discussions of women’s football, I think that’s something we need to look at.

“I’d also like to look at the pathways and how we ensure that we open access to all parts of Australia.

“Are the registration costs too high – can we find mechanisms such as training reward or solidarity mechanisms to ensure that clubs all over the country are incentivised to develop players.

“This is something that I’d really like us to look at and debate in the near future.”

Source: https://www.ffa.com.au/news/watch-james-johnsons-first-media-conference-ffa-ceo

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