CSM ties with Sportway and Swedish Ice Hockey Federation
June 29, 2020
The Swedish Ice Hockey Federation has agreed a five-year deal with Sportway to operate a major rollout of a fully AI automated production infrastructure.
Leading up to the groundbreaking deal CSM has a agreed a new commercial deal with Sportway and also acquired a stake in the sport tech company.
At the start of the 2020/2021 season there will be AI equipment in 162 ice hockey arenas and the jointly owned management and production company Svensk Hockey TV AB will produce more than 25 000 live games. Already during the 2019/2020 season, 7 500 live ice hockey matches were produced with AI technology in Sweden and also in Norway.
– This is an important step for the development of ice hockey in Sweden nationwide. With this new investment, up to 70% of all games played in Sweden from the age group of U12 will be available live. The AI production system is an important tool to improve our sport at many levels, says Anders Larsson, president of the Swedish Ice hockey Federation.
– The entertainment aspect of live streaming is important to the sport, even more so with the unfortunate restrictions imposed by the Corona virus with empty stadiums and parents, friends, families, and supporters unable to see their kids or favorite team playing ice hockey. In addition, the system will enhance player safety and education through the support of disciplinary and medical follow-ups, and coaches will have a huge volume of content at their disposal for training and coaching purposes.
Swedish ice hockey has a long tradition of producing live games for streaming, but previously it has been manual productions carried out by volunteers. With AI production using an exclusive “cameraman” algorithm and the integration with the federation database and the game secretariat generating automatic graphics and scoreboard the project takes a significant step forward both in terms of the volume of matches but also the quality of the games produced.
– There are still some parts of the project that remain unaltered, i.e. the clubs and the federation enjoying financial benefits from the service. Our business model is based on low-pay subscription, yearly or monthly, and PPV. The clubs receive a kickback on their achieved sales, says Daniel Franck, CEO of Sportway, one of the first companies in Sweden to focus on live broadcast of youth sports.
– With the introduction of AI, we can fulfill our vision of making it financially viable to offer a huge number of games to a very small target group. It still makes financial sense since production costs are at a minimum without compromising on the quality of the output.
Commercial Sports Media has a strong position in ice hockey and will work together with Sportway to market and sell the services from the sport tech company.
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