Senior figures from UK broadcaster ITV, Chinese digital sports platform Sina Sports and American sports broadcaster Fox Sports will come together at this year’s Soccerex Global Convention, 26th-28th September, Manchester, to provide their insight into the future of football broadcasting and how the industry needs to adapt to meet the demands of the modern market.
As Executive Producer for Soccer at US Fox Sports, Jonty Whitehead will be calling on his extensive knowledge of American broadcasting and addressing the ways in which it’s many services deliver match day action to fans. In recent years, Fox Sports have had the rights to show the 2015 Women’s World Cup, Copa America Centenario 2016 and put a deal in place to broadcast the World Cup up to, and including, the 2026 tournament. Audience viewing figures for Fox Sports’ coverage of the Women’s World Cup Final hit 25.4 million viewers, whereas in comparison NBC get on average around 1 million viewers for a Premier League fixture, proving their dominance in the market.
Prior to working at Fox Sports, Jonty spent 10 years at Sky Sports as a producer, as well as serving as Head of Football at Middle Eastern Sports Channel, Al-Jazeera<https://www.linkedin.com/company/915282?trk=prof-exp-company-name>. At present, he is responsible for all soccer production on Fox Sport 1, Fox Sport 2 and Fox Soccer Plus.
Joining Jonty on the panel is Sam Li, Head of Content Acquisition and Strategic Partnerships at Sina Sports, China’s first event online sports platform. The company currently has a deal in place to stream Premier League games over the internet, with 230 of the 380 games throughout the season available to live stream for free on its sports channel. Within his role at Sina Sports, one of Sam’s main responsibilities is overseeing the type of content the company puts out to its fans. Bringing his pool of experience in the Chinese market, Sam will be talking about the rise of Sina Sports, and how the company provides digital content for fans, differing from the traditional broadcasting service. He will also be able to provide valuable insight on the specific nature of rights and broadcasting in China, compared with the UK and America.
Completing the lineup will be ITV’s Director of Sport, Niall Sloane, who will be calling on his wealth of expertise in British sports broadcasting to deliver his views on how the media is adapting to the cultural shift in the way society wants to, and is able to, consume football. Niall has witnessed firsthand the change in how football has been broadcast in the UK, being part of the game both on and off the field, including a professional career with Sheffield Wednesday. After his stint as a professional, Sloane went on to work for the BBC for 26 years taking on many roles in the Sports department, including working on the Iconic Match of the Day. In his current role at ITV, Sloane oversees ITV’s sport coverage including England’s international football and World Cup campaigns
However, it is not just the platforms for broadcast that have been expanded upon over the years, the features used throughout broadcasting have also changed sufficiently to give an overall better experience of the beautiful game. Features such as the slow motion cameras, goal line technology, high definition and now 4k resolution are all products of the ever evolving technology in the football broadcasting industry.
The panel will look at how features within broadcasting have changed as a whole and how broadcasters such as ITV, Sina Sports and Fox Sports have had to change their channels of providing content to fans across the world.
Jonty, Sam and Niall will all be contributing to the thought provoking conference program at the Soccerex Global Convention 2016, designed to deliver unique business insight across a variety of key sectors and subject matters ranging from sponsorship and fan engagement to the technological innovations and stadium development. For more information on the programme, see the full first edition here<https://www.soccerex.com/insight/articles/2016/global-convention-2016-conference-programme-session-concepts>.
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