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IPTV Enhances Venue Experience and Fan Engagement During March Madness

By: PRLog

ATLANTA - March 27, 2024 - PRLog -- As the frenzy of March Madness grips the nation, basketball enthusiasts are not only drawn to the thrilling matchups on the court but also captivated by the diverse and iconic venues that host the tournament's exhilarating games. Indeed, a significant part of the tournament's viewing appeal revolves around seeing tens of thousands of rabid fans attend games for high-profile matchups.

"As a result, maximizing the venue experience has emerged as a critical imperative for tournament and venue decision-makers," says Andy Wagner, who leads the NFL and collegiate sports entertainment markets for VITEC, in a podcast interview for journalists.

"That is why IPTV in college sports venues is rapidly emerging as an important feature at new athletic facilities and iconic arenas. It is playing an increasingly important role in defining -- and even managing -- the kind of experience colleges and university leaders want to deliver to a diverse fan base," he explains.

Students, alumni, parents, and fans from visiting teams are among the community members who show up for live games during March Madness. Unlike those who tune in to watch the tournament on TV, there is much more to the experience than the games themselves.

"Most venues host multiple sports and entertainment events during this period. The audiovisual infrastructure at these locations must support the diversity of activity throughout the day during the tournament," Wagner says.

Evolving Beyond Legacy AV

Addressing different requirements in an agile and effective manner has proven challenging for legacy systems managing audiovisual assets like TVs and digital signage. RF systems often require someone to roam from screen to screen with remote controls to change channels or activate digital signage. IPTV, by contrast, is much more flexible and efficient in managing its facilities.

"This is mainly because IPTV systems can be integrated into institutions' information technology networks and infrastructures. As a result, they can be remotely managed and monitored, allowing venue operators to quickly troubleshoot issues, update content, and ensure smooth operation without needing technician support at the screen level," he says.

It is a game changer from a management standpoint. IPTV allows managers to transform screens into advertising channels that cater to the specific audiences attending different parts of the venue and support different types of events -- from pep rallies to concerts -- which often take place during the day of big games.

"With IPTV, we can configure set-ups specifically designed for men's basketball games. Then, with the push of a button, we can switch the venue's configuration to support an entirely different set of requirements for the next night's game, which could be a women's basketball or volleyball match," Wagner says.

This flexibility enhances the fan experience in an operationally and financially effective manner, a significant value proposition for leaders interested in encouraging them to attend events instead of watching from home.

Cases in Point

Two examples illustrate IPTV's impact on the college sports scene: Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge, La., and the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.

"LSU manages over 1,400 displays across eight different facilities using IPTV. The technology allows venue managers to make changes and respond to the unique needs of different events in a very tailored manner. The centralized control offered by IPTV systems allows them to make changes at their football facility, as well as in their basketball arena, baseball stadium, and softball field," says Wagner.

Meanwhile, the University of Notre Dame controls and manages approximately 800 displays across 14 facilities, including athletic and academic spaces. It has allowed the university to be more dynamic and flexible in controlling and enhancing the experience of many communities within the institution.

"One of the main goals in sports today is to enhance the fan experience and provide value so that fans choose to come to the venue rather than watch from the comfort of their homes. IPTV provides new ways of delivering this value," concludes Wagner.


[EDITORIAL NOTE: To read the Q&A of our interview with VITEC's Andy Wagner click here.

Click here to listen to the podcast interview]

Photos: (Click photo to enlarge)

Andy Wagner, VITEC

Source: VITEC

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