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Veo: Recording and analysing football matches with AI-driven cameras

Co-founded in 2015 by Henrik Teisbæk, Veo is a sports technology company with one main aim, to record sporting matches automatically without the need for a camera operator.

To achieve this goal, the company has developed an AI-powered 180-degree camera with two 4K lenses, capturing every single moment of a match in high quality and at 30 frames a second.

Veo has specifically trained the AI to follow the ball during the course of a game, creating a broadcast-like experience for the matches recorded using the software.

The camera ships with a tripod selected by the customer, is able to record up to four hours of footage on a single charge, and weighs less than one kilo, making it a portable option for both home and away matches.

“Veo has been a great asset for us since we purchased it. It allows us to record every game which at this level is brilliant. All around it has been an excellent purchase and something we are really proud to be using,” former senior coach of Brunswick City (now on the Melbourne Victory coaching staff) Riccardo Marchioli said.

One of the important selling points of the product is the analysis work that can be conducted on Veo’s online subscription platform.

Users are offered a 12-month subscription to the platform (at no additional cost) with the purchase of a camera kit, which allows coaches, scouts, players and so forth to review and analyse match recordings using a variety of Veo’s implemented features.

These features include:

  • The ability to consume automatically detected highlights in a match recording through Veo’s AI software, which pinpoints moments such as goals, kick-offs and half-time intervals
  • The ability for coaches to draw on the screen to provide feedback to players through the use of lines, shapes and arrows
  • Players can be tagged in highlights by the coach on Veo’s online platform
  • Coaches can also take over the camera and create their own highlights to share with players in a group or individually
  • Comments can be attached to every highlight, with a choice of which players can see the particular piece of advice or criticism

The online platform has been a successful system for various coaches around the world, including head of football at the City Of London School and U18 Head Coach of Independent Schools for England, Jono Santry.

“Veo has literally transformed our football programme,” he said.

“For years we have been searching for a solution to video matches, tag events, analyse the footage, and share with the staff and players. I had given up on finding a one fits all solution that was both affordable and not reliant upon having staff to film, edit and produce the footage. Veo literally is all this and more.

“We put the camera at the top of the tripod, press record and then plug it in when we return to the office. Veo’s “bots” do the rest and by the time the players wake up the next morning, they have tagged match footage that is excellent quality and follows play. All of this without a human having to control a camera or edit the footage.

“We are using it for other sports with the same precision which means more of our students are gaining the benefit that it clearly brings.”

To date, almost 5000 clubs use Veo in 79 countries across the world, with over 225,000 matches recorded using the product.

Professional clubs who use the service include Manchester City, As Roma, Chelsea, Leicester City FC, Everton FC, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Borussia Monchengladbach, Impact de Montréal, Inter Miami CF, Real Salt Lake, Club Brugge KV and many more.

However, professional clubs who have signed up to Veo only account for 10% of the Danish company’s customer base.

75% of Veo’s customers are either from grassroots or youth clubs across the globe, with schools making up the remainder of the base.

The basic camera setup costs under $2000AUD, with local A-League club Wellington Phoenix utilising Veo’s service, as well as ambitious NPL clubs such as Heidelberg United, who believe the investment is worthwhile to record and analyse their junior sides.

More information on Veo can be viewed here.

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.

10 ViacomCBS Executive Producer Geoff Bullock: Bringing a fan-first approach

Fans

10 ViacomCBS’ concerted efforts to aid in the revitalisation of Australian football over the last few months has stirred a largely positive response from the passionate Australian fanbase. The extensive coverage seen across Channel 10’s news networks and various social media channels speaks volumes of the broadcaster’s dedication to help football reach its lofty potential.

The clarity provided by a primary broadcaster who is aligned in its passion for the game, coupled with the governing bodies, is undeniably promising for football going forward.

Geoff Bullock has been a vital part of our collective matchday experience of Australian football since his beginnings at Fox Sports as a Producer for for football in 2006. Bullock has certainly ridden all of the highs and lows that have come with being an adherent of the game like the rest of us.

In a wide-ranging chat with Soccerscene, the current Executive Producer for football at ViacomCBS gave us insight into the strategic direction, plans and thinking behind the new broadcasting home.

Football home

What has it been like taking on this project of 10 ViacomCBS being the home of all things Australian football? Have you always had an interest in football?

Geoff Bullock: I’ve been involved in football since I was about four, playing for the Gosford City Dragons with my dad as the coach. So, it’s always been my number one sport for the past 15 years as I’ve been lucky enough to be working on the broadcast of Australian football. And now to get to do it at Channel 10 for a new era is really exciting.

It’s just good to be involved when there’s a fresh start for football on the horizon. And I’m just excited about the role that we can play to hopefully energise football in Australia.

How is the 10 ViacomCBS production team looking to differentiate how football will be presented in comparison to any previous broadcaster’s time in charge of Australian football?

Geoff Bullock: What we want to do is provide a fan-first approach to broadcasting football here. And with the two platforms in Channel 10 and Paramount+ it gives us – in addition to the live broadcast – the opportunity to offer replays on-demand, mini matches and highlights for A-League Men and Women’s. That includes the Socceroos and Matildas internationals, which we’ve been broadcasting on 10 and 10 Bold and putting mini-matches on 10 Play.

I think it allows viewers to digest football in different ways to what they maybe traditionally have. We’ll also preview and review all of the games with our team as well. Each game will have a preview and review show attached, which allows our experts to dive in and give viewers a deeper look. And we’ll do some magazine shows and podcasts through the week as well to provide extra content.

The other thing I’m excited about is that we’re looking to do a deeper stats dive than we’ve done before. So, there’ll be greater insights on potential players and matches that we’ll be able to get from the deeper stats dive.

Traditionally, for the domestic game whilst they have been comprehensive in terms of milestones and players, we’ve never really taken the leap to include expected goals, pass mapping and possession mapping. That’s the territory I’m hoping we can get into for the A-League which will take it to a new level.

AL

Within the envisioned coverage, what areas of football are being focused on as its key points of difference in comparison to other sporting codes? How valuable do you believe embracing active support is?

Geoff Bullock: I think COVID-19 has shown how important it is to have fans at the game. Whether we’re in the stands or watching on TV, we know what we’re missing when the atmosphere isn’t there. It’s just a massive game-changer at the venue and on TV to have that buzz of the crowd at the games. I can’t wait to have that back.

And I think it’s even more important with football than other sports because of the unique nature of active support. It provides a soundtrack for the game that we’ve missed. The interesting contrast is probably the Euros where we finally got some crowds back at games and it was a massive lift.

That’s so important for us to take advantage of, that active support. We’re trying to provide a fan-friendly experience as well. We’ve worked hard with the APL to provide two fan-friendly Saturday 7:45pm timeslots, so that fans are able to get to more games that are on at a better time.

We’re looking forward to covering active support in the broadcast as well when we can. It’s no doubt been a while since we’ve seen a massive Wanderers march to the stadium which was always huge in the broadcast. Seeing that amount of people marching to the ground definitely provides a sense of occasion and anticipation before the game. It makes people want to stick around and watch.

March to stadium

We’ve seen football over the last few months covered extensively on Channel 10’s news and socials. What are some examples of the strategies being taken to entice younger social media savvy modern audiences?

Geoff Bullock: Quite a few strategies are in place, like our Saturday night coverage is going to be built around a multi-screen experience with those two simultaneous matches that I mentioned on Channel 10 and Paramount+. This is being done with the younger fans in mind.

Football fans, as we know, are accustomed to basically consuming their content on multiple devices. I believe a lot of people in that under-30 age bracket very rarely watch any kind of TV or stream without their phone in their hand.

So, we’re going to build the Saturday night around that multi-screen experience where you’ll be able to watch a game on 10 and on your device with Paramount+. It’ll be a chance for those fans to be across all the highlights and talking points from two games live as it happens.

We’re also exploring a few solutions that might allow us to scale up a separate coverage on a Saturday night that will deliver alternate commentary across the split-screen experience of those two games. That’s something that we’re going to work towards as the season unfolds, and also potentially a social media or influencer-driven commentary stream which we’ll look to do.

With the deep-dive stats that I mentioned earlier they’ll be going out on our social media platforms as well. That’s something that will allow those younger fans to engage in more analytical discussions around football. When you talk to young football fans, you find that there’s not much about the game that they aren’t across, and I think this will give them more of an opportunity to talk more in-depth about Australian football rather than the default of European football.

I think that’s one of our big challenges, to try and engage football fans in Australian football in the same way that they’re engaging with European football. And I’m hoping that if we can bring our level of detail up to the same sort of standards that fans are seeing overseas, then hopefully that will help them to switch on to the local game.

MVC

In terms of coverage beyond matchdays, are there plans to produce content that dives deeper into Australian football and its various stakeholders (clubs, fans, players)?

Geoff Bullock: Definitely. I think part of the strategy that we’ve been talking about is not taking Australian football fans for granted. Basically, bringing our coverage up to the standard that they’d expect. We want to give them the experience that they deserve based off their level of intellectual buy-in to the game.

Young fans here in Australia commit very heavily. You just look at the hours they have to stay up at night to watch these teams overseas. They’re committed to learning about these teams that aren’t even on their doorstep.

I think we need to match that in our level of commitment to them to be able to deliver that. With the APL we’ll be delivering features and exclusive content across broadcast, digital and social media platforms that will give them that detail of the local game – both the A-League Men’s and Women’s – that will allow them to basically have that same sort of intellectual connection that they should have. Because these are the clubs that are actually here and that means they can support them in the stands week-in week-out.

Fans here in Australia can get so much closer to the stars of these teams, like they’re far more accessible than they are in any other league. The access for these fans is so much different to what it is for some stars overseas and that’s what we want to encourage. We want fans to know that they’re amongst their heroes at these clubs.

World Cup qualifiers

Australian football has undoubtedly seen some rollercoaster times in recent years. Why do you believe now is a critical time for 10 Viacom CBS to get involved in football?

Geoff Bullock: It’s ridden a few waves that’s for sure. We all know it’s had its ups and downs based on national team performance and marquee players in the league, but it’s never really had a long-term sustained period of growth. Particularly over the last couple of years the popularity of the competitions has dropped off.

So, I think the timing of a longer-term broadcast deal with free-to-air exposure really couldn’t have come at a better time. And the fact that that deal has come along at the same time as the unbundling of the A-League from Football Australia (FA), it should provide clubs with a bit of confidence to invest further in the game and hopefully that’ll provide a better, more marketable product. Not only whistle-to-whistle but off the pitch as well.

I think there’s now an opportunity, like there never really has before, for the clubs to back themselves and have a crack. And maybe we’re starting to see that with Perth Glory getting Daniel Sturridge on board, which is a huge boost.

There’s always a bit of a knock-on effect when you’ve got these big stars signing for a club and suddenly there’s clubs looking over their shoulder not wanting to be left behind. The building blocks are there for a really exciting season, and with a number of clubs with spots to fill hopefully they follow the lead that the Glory have taken and they have a go.

Daniel Sturridge

How can 10 Viacom CBS help to capitalise on interest and grow women’s football leading into and following the 2023 Women’s World Cup?

Geoff Bullock: It’s exceptionally exciting. The World Cup is going to be massive here in Australia. But the one thing we always know in Australia about having a tournament on home soil is that people get behind it. We saw how Australia embraced the Asian Cup back in 2015. Particularly with a lot of Asian teams we don’t traditionally get behind. So with a World Cup it’s going to be even bigger.

The women’s game is really important to us. I think everybody is aware in Australia it is the fastest growing asset within football. And we’re going to treat A-League Women’s exactly the same as we treat the Men’s. The same sort of program will be structured around each game. Our best commentators and experts will work across both competitions, so you’ll hear Simon Hill calling A-League Women’s matches as well as A-League Men’s.

We’re massively excited about the Matildas returning to play some games on home soil in October. But we’ll also be tracking it because we’ve got the Women’s Asian Cup starting in January early next year. And we’ll have programming around those games and that competition which will be hosted in India, so the kick-off times will be pretty decent for an Australian audience. So, it might really work well with the A-League still going on here. In that period, it will be a frenzy of football which is pretty exciting.

WWC 2023

Deltatre adds sport-related functionality to AXIS

Deltatre, the global leader in fan-first video experiences, has announced the development of a new suite of sport-focused features and functionality within its user experience (UX) management tool, AXIS, to support leagues, teams and federations. 

AXIS is a targeted UX management console and suite of multi-platform Reference Apps. For many years, AXIS has been the go-to product for OTT services, including BritBox, Rogers Sports & Media and DR.

AXIS empowers an OTT service’s editorial team, reducing churn and boosting personalisation and monetisation options.

This latest evolution of AXIS brings Deltatre’s expertise to life, offering sports-focused OTT providers the ability to offer their users uniquely different ways of following specific leagues, tournament rounds, teams or players. 

By putting the power in the hands of knowledgeable editorial staff, clients consistently report increased engagement and reduced churn from their OTT offering. 

Deltatre has added the ability for broadcasters and rights holders to adapt their services, so that sports content such as competitions, events, teams, and athletes can be promoted out-of-the-box, with dedicated templates enabling easy discoverability of live and catch-up sport video content. 

In addition, a new personalisation feature allows users to follow their favourite team or player so they never miss a moment of the action. 

Using a simple drag-and-drop interface, AXIS helps editorial teams control every element of their OTT video service, including design, navigation, promotions, page layout, and content. 

This builds on an already extensive set of core AXIS functionality that includes the following features:

 A drag-and-drop management system: Enables any content producer to make real-time changes to an OTT service without needing to touch any code – helping to boost engagement and monetisation opportunities. 

 Smart lists: Streamline efficiency with ‘smart’ lists of content that combine manually curated and rules-based content.

 Advanced Segmentation Tags: Target your audience by demographic type, device, location and so on. 

 Personalisation:  Dynamically surface related content that you know your users are interested in, based on their followed items. 

 Page and row templates: Ready-to-use templates and row types let you create and configure detail pages for your competition, event, team, and other assets, that users can navigate to from anywhere in their app. 

 Monetisation options: Boost revenue potential in a non-intrusive way, by adding brand sponsored rows or banners directly into the UI. 

Gilles Mas, President of Video Experiences, Deltatre, said: “As a long-standing streaming technology provider to leading OTT platforms across sport and entertainment, Deltatre is uniquely positioned to understand the complexities and differences in the way fans and users engage with and consume different content. 

“We know how important it is to combine a greater user experience with clear, actionable audience data. Truly understanding your customers, and giving an editorial team the tools to act on that knowledge, is key to maximising engagement and reducing costs and churn.”

AXIS complements Deltatre’s comprehensive end-to-end offering across sports and entertainment, which includes its OTT player DIVA, the world’s most powerful sports publishing platform FORGE, and mtribes, a SaaS platform for real-time, data-driven UX targeting. 

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