Sandeep KV, a Malayali expatriate from Maradu, sat in his flat in Bahrain and was connected to a YouTube channel most evenings a few months ago. An amateur football league was underway in Kochi and he did not want to miss the team he was supporting. Live streaming of games on the league’s YouTube channel ensured he was having fun despite his absence.
Web streaming, from live streaming of entire matches to summarized highlights on social media platforms, has become the buzzword for amateur sporting events and reaching a larger audience.
“There is a significant increase in streaming of amateur sporting events, which is helping talented gamers make that transition to the professional level. The streaming footage serves as authentic proof of their performance as they make their case in front of scouts. It is also important from a sponsorship perspective as sponsors would require a documented profile of the event they are sponsoring,” said Charles Raj, vice president of the Hermanos FC Foundation, which recently ran the third season of its football league with live streaming of key matches.
Gone are the days when security camera footage at the venue was considered a valuable asset. Instead, there are multiple cameras recording and streaming the action with live commentary, not to mention the elaborate graphics, player profiles, stats, and replays.
While football and cricket remain the dominant sports when it comes to streaming, other sports seem to be catching up to players on the field quickly, proving the potential is far from being realised. Streaming can be minimal with a single camera or with multiple cameras, depending on budget. Decent streaming of a game with three cameras would cost around £25k to £35k.
“There is a need for both live streaming of the entire game and capturing specific players or performances. Everyone is looking for global exposure and streaming provides that exposure to the outside world,” said Vijay Immanuel, whose company has been streaming events for three years.
Ajay Ghosh, one of the earliest proponents of streaming cricket commentary, said that with the spread of streamed matches, commenting has become a potential livelihood. Mr. Ghosh, Technopark employee, is now back as a commentator in his free time after a break.