User-generated content finding its place for sports

By Ken Kerschbaumer and Andrew Lippe

The definition of user-generated content continues to expand as everything from blogs, to YouTube, and even original video and audio podcasts reach in new directions. How traditional sports leagues and networks leverage those new developments was the subject of a panel discussion at last week’s DSports conference.

“People want video up as quickly as possible,” says Marc Shedroff, You Tube strategic partner development. And content owners want control over that video as quickly as possible. That’s one reason YouTube has developed a Video ID system that makes it easy to pull content off of the site or allow it to remain but add in advertising so that the content owner can monetize it. “We have a database and if a video is posted that matches something in that database the system takes action and either monetizes it or blocks it, depending on the business rules.”

While YouTube rules the roost in online user-generated video content sports has opened up doors for many other new developments. Jacked.com is offering a technology that allows consumers to design their own computer dashboard that can enhance the TV viewing experience. For example, fans of the New York Knicks can build “widgets” that can provide out-of-town scores, live scoring updates, player information and bios and anything else that strikes their fancy.

“We don’t want to be the programmer,” says Bryan Biniak, Jacked.com CEO. “Consumers want content related to the broadcast they’re watching and also for games they aren’t watching. But the problem now is sites with ingame experiences are preconfigured and what you see is what you get.”

And for those sports leagues and networks who don’t want to develop their own user-generated backend technologies KickApps has developed a software platform that has a suite of services for hosting user-generated content on third-party sites.

“Sports is a natural for social networking and we’re making it easy for Websites,” says Alex Blum, KickApps CEO. “They can create an online forum for their fans to reach out share experiences.”

The idea, adds Blum, is to have the live event and a complementary online event. “You’ll have one experience building up to the event and then another online experience right after the game and then a third that leads into the next game,” he says.

“The linear model is not dead,” adds Max Haot, CEO, at Mogulus. His company is looking to bring users a Web broadcasting platform that provides online 24/7 networks. “With a single camera someone can do a live broadcast and produce their own show,” he says. The system includes graphics, can handle up to three cameras, and can even make use of 3G cellular technology.