Sports, media & entertainment

Mehdi Quraishi

General Manager, 5G, MEC & Innovation, Verizon Business

Sports, media & entertainment:
Blending physical and virtual at the heart of the action

5G is a game-changer for the sport, media & entertainment industries. In fact, thanks to 5G technology, in the not too distant future, consumers will have access to more content and experiences than they could ever have previously imagined.

The new 5G standard will be a major competitive asset for network providers in media & entertainment. Video will see the substantial market transformation from it. 5G brings economies of scale to network providers’ TV offerings, competing against Internet Protocol TV (IPTV), cable, and satellite. On the B2B front, 5G will help operators capitalize on mobile media growth by selling 5G network capabilities to OTT video service providers.

5G is already changing the fan experience for those at the game itself. At the 2022 Super Bowl, for example, Verizon’s 5G Ultra-Wideband provided fans inside the SoFi stadium with high speeds, low latency, and massive capacity that enabled engaging in-game experiences. Verizon 5G Multi-View in the NFL Ticketholder app gave fans in attendance, with select Android and iOS 5G phones, the opportunity to engage with up to seven different camera angles and project AR overlays of the NFL’s Next Gen Stats for players, and access instant replays.

New media experiences

Augmented and virtual reality, and more

High data throughput and low latency will unlock augmented and virtual reality applications, enabling a whole new channel to reach consumers. Augmented reality will create new ways for audiences to connect through virtual items, virtual characters, and augmented contextual information. The creation of volumetric 3D content and an ecosystem to manage that type of content will be important to fully realize this market potential.

Longer-term, 5G will bring new senses to media & entertainment: touch and feel. Highly responsive haptic suits merged with advanced VR capabilities, such as Ready Player One, will unleash a new sensation dimension to media consumption.

Gaming

Audiences can take part in whole new styles of gaming. It’s not just about how it’s experienced but making it a truly personalized experience for the user and building new global communities which will bring people together the world over. Through advances in technology and connectivity, the physical and the virtual worlds are becoming one. Haptic suits connected to 5G will be able to deliver a new sensory dimension to media experiences. For instance, new sensations such as heat and pressure could be bundled into a weapons upgrade in an action game, or movies could be re-released with a new sensation layer, opening a new monetization cycle across old catalogs.

Media production and transmission

5G will help transform media production; for broadcasters, production companies, event organizers, and others, having their own private 5G campus network will help enable more flexible production and high-quality broadcast transmissions.

Remote production

5G will enable remote and new ways of working, where in-synch multi-camera feeds have to be transported compressed in real-time from the field (events sites, sports locations, and other venues) into the cloud or to a production facility. This could save companies the costs of sending entire production teams and equipment. In some cases, it could involve a complete remote production scenario with multiple teams working collaboratively on the same live content.

Wireless studios

Having all audio and video equipment connected via a private 5G network will help accelerate production times.

In-stadia management and experiences

5G can offer powerful fan experience possibilities at a massive scale, helping people connect more with the game and each other while also helping to keep them safe and secure.

Immersive experiences

5G-enabled cameras around the stadium can simultaneously capture footage from different viewpoints and put fans at the heart of the action. Powerful edge computing can then process all this data quickly and stream a 360-degree view to fan devices all the way through a new consumer immersive experience. The work we’re doing across the NFL in the US is a fantastic example of next-generation fan experiences in action.

Crowd management and safety

Crowd analytics can enable better guest experiences in stadiums and other venues by extending compute and network infrastructure in close proximity to these facilities. The service analyzes traffic and congestion flow patterns and provides visualization using continuous crowd monitoring of velocity and density along the routes. This can enable more efficient and safer crowd movement and easier collaboration between venue partners and improves crowd management strategies. It also provides information and wayfinding digital signage and mobile applications to help guests navigate venue space and facilities.

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