All screens are created equal and cable ops and nets are customizing users’ experience as much as possible with the help of social media, live streaming, apps and other interactive and content delivery tech. Those are the messages from several panelists at the Variety Sports Entertainment Summit Thurs.
“One person’s first screen is someone else’s second,” depending on when, where and what content is being viewed, said Jonathan Wilner, sr dir, biz product mgmt, Ooyala, a provider of cross-device video analytics and monetization solutions.
DirecTV seemed to agree. The MVPD looks at every screen equally, according to Josh Snow, sr dir, digital entertainment products. That means looking at elements that a user would want on any of the screens, he said. That can be discovery, recommendations, social, the content itself, informational and interactive content, according to Snow.
For nets like Fox Sports, the big focus is “knowing our users as much as we can…and customizing an experience for them,” said Clark Pierce, svp, emerging tech. The ability to understand user interests and ensuring the delivery of the right content is the key, said Ken Fuchs, vp, Yahoo Media Network.
Meanwhile, some distinct viewing patterns are emerging. People under age 25 are much more likely to consume long-form video on a tablet or a PC than older age groups, Ooyala’s Wilner said. The second screen is “an immersive part of going to the sporting event” and it’s only going to be bigger part of it, he said.
However, the sports content market is getting a little fragmented as many second screen operators are trying to maintain the cable sports model in a way that creates value for the rights holder and the media entity that has purchased those rights, Fuchs said. It appears that there’s no uniformity of content delivery and management methods across the same type of device or the same content provider, he said.

For more on the Variety Summit, see today’s top story in CableFAX Daily on the need for expensive RSN rights deals to be profitable on their own.

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