The AST wrap-up; record-breaking viewership, new sports content and sport development

English football viewership has peaked once again. The NBA discovers new methods to promote responsible gambling & economic empowerment while Instagram seeks inspiration from TikTok to garner new and current audiences.

The 2019/20 FA Cup Final scores record-breaking viewership

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English football can’t help itself throughout lockdown by breaking viewership at every big occasion. Last weekend saw Arsenal FC’s FA Cup victory against Chelsea accumulate a peak audience of 8.2m viewers, making it the most viewed UK football match this season.

The London clash was broadcasted by BBC One seeing the extended coverage draw a 46.1% market share. This match-up has rised above many other significant contests, including Chelsea’s semi-final victory against Manchester United on 19th July producing 7.3m viewers and Manchester City’s FA Cup final whitewash against Watford in 2018/19, generating 7.4m spectators.

The FA cup final’s world-class audience accumulation has showcased the passion traditional sports fans have to continue funding the sector, despite the lack of ticket and gate revenue, the industry will survive due to it’s broadcasting gateway.

What does Instagram’s imitation attempt of TikTok mean for sports content?

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Earlier this week, Instagram released a new feature called ‘Reels’, 15-second video content attribute that looks virtually identical to video content on TikTok. You could argue Reels is an exploitation of the scrutiny TikTok is experiencing with piracy issues and bans in various territories.

But what would this mean for sports content? Mostly, it’s another platform where sports fans can feel connected to their favourite sporting influencers, athletes and other personalities. However, this will be in the form of shorter-video content, making it a punchier initiative to captivate and engage sporting audiences.

Instagram has a record at capitalising on other mediums exclusive features, such as Snapchat stories, filters and now TikTok content.

The NBA brings innovative betting content to its telecasts

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The NBA League Pass and TV networks can expect to witness a new betting broadcast option featuring separate commentary and enhanced graphics on betting-related data. Betting analysts from Action Network, Bleacher Report and Yahoo Sports will be delivering live commentary on the latest betting stats throughout the tournaments gameplay.

Betting is a controversial topic within sport; however, with an incentive like this, it could encourage betting to be identified in a new light. From professionals within the sector, providing specialist guidance throughout the broadcast of basketball could enhance its sports consumers to bet more responsibly.

The NBA and NBPA association team up to strive for Black empowerment

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The NBA’s team owners will contribute $300m over the next decade to form a gracious foundation to combat social injustice and inequality.  The movement is in tribute towards Black Lives Matter and will unfold opportunities for career enhancement amongst Black communities in the US and Canada.

The NBA has issued a commendable initiative here to use its brand identity to create opportunities for groups who have experienced deficiency in society.

Telesport agree a multi-year partnership to enhance Russia’s MMA profile

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Russian agency Telesport will broadcast the nations Professional Fighters League (PFL) from 2021. The production includes rights to the regular season, playoff and championship events alongside original content formed by PFL studios. The PFL is also collaborating with global sports media agency, Fighting Spirit to enhance the league’s media activations and partnerships.

Telesport group already hold several rights to major sports tournaments, including UEFA Euro 2020, the 2024 Olympic Games and the Russian Football Cup. The PFL partnership adds more string to Telesport’s bow to diversify their sporting portfolio by showcasing home-grown talent across a growing region of combat sport.

Could cricket resurrect Facebook’s dominance in the social media game?

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The International Cricket Council (ICC) have accumulated close to 1.65bn views on Facebook during the first half of 2020; this beats any other international sporting body. The ICC’s daily video consumption has skyrocketed throughout the COVID19 pandemic as well, ramping from 3 million minute views to 15 million minutes per day on the medium.

The ICC have Facebook as their digital rights partner in India, meaning exclusive content from the sport is available through the channel. Surrey County Cricket Club is another cricket team that has exclusively partnered with the platform, by Facebook streaming their T20 games for the remainder of the season. This initiative between cricket and Facebook could spark a new spotlight for sports content on the medium.


That’s a wrap! Lockdown continues to prove a digital masterclass for English football; The NBA remain proactive to enhance social issues through their brand identity, and what results will accumulate for Facebook from their recent initiative with the ICC?  

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Published by Ashwyn Lall

I'm a First-Class Graduate in Sports Business Management who has worked across Local Government, Sport and the Third Sector. Throughout my career, I've developed a thriving passion to promote sport being used as a tool to bring positivity to the world we live in. This ethos has inspired me to create a website which champions this value through comprehensive online content for you to gain value from. Join me on this journey of discovering what sport can do to enhance society.

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