AI-powered Automated Sports Production Is Revolutionizing College Sports

Although it seems that sports broadcasting is bigger than ever, still almost 99% of organized sports aren’t being produced and broadcasted.

For decades, only the professional leagues of popular sports, such as baseball, basketball, and football, have received coverage due to the high costs of producing events with live camera crews. The same goes for college sports, not all games could be produced for fans, alumni, scouts and parents. But new technologies are changing this reality.

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Pixellot, one of the leaders in this field, has developed an automated sports production system. Pixellot's solution uses computer-vision AI algorithms to dynamically track on-field action, providing viewers a seamless, TV-like experience that includes automated highlights and graphics, remote/local commentary, scoreboard and game clock. The system, which includes a proprietary camera unit and a computing unit, is simply installed on the field and after a short setup process, will automatically capture sporting events, stream them over the web and automatically edit video highlights in real-time. There is no need for expensive cameras and camera operators, live editing stations, or complex broadcasting technologies, everything is done automatically, making it accessible to any college, regardless of their budget and audience size.

No Tripods, No Crew, No Setup

Pixellot, which has already sold thousands of production systems - including more than 1000 to US high-schools via the NFHS Network, is now focusing on the college sports market, with distribution partner Key Code Media. “The Pixellot system is one of those unique products that our education clients have been asking for years- an affordable and easy way to record and broadcast sports. We’re excited to see the unique ways our customers use this technology in the near future,” commented James Page, Key Code Media’s Director of Business Development. Key Code will be selling and installing new system into most college sports, including football, soccer, basketball, hockey, volleyball, lacrosse, baseball, field hockey and wrestling.

Using Pixellot, colleges can produce and monetize athletic events at an affordable price point with no humans in the loop.

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An example of a collage that is already using the Pixellot system is Hastings College in Hastings, Nebraska. The college has installed the Pixellot system in their basketball arena and used it to cover basketball, volleyball and wrestling. Adam Maser, Hastings College Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations, said: "Pixellot offers all the elements people want to see while watching a livestream. I really appreciate that it only takes 15 seconds to set up. I used to be the one fumbling with tripods and setting up cameras before. It took hours to get the camera angles right." When asked about the quality of the solution and the broadcast results Adam answered: "I was blown away by the tracking systems. It smoothly follows action from one side of the court to the other. The image is high quality. It’s really nice to be hands-off and let the Pixellot system do all the work. It is easy to justify the cost with all the time-saving elements.”

Enhancing coaching with high-quality video and analytics

Pixellot also provides video coaching tools, used to analyze games and practices. Video Coaching tools can already be found in top clubs and leagues around the world, including the Premier League in England, Seria A (Italy) and LIGA MX from the professional Mexican Soccer league. But these coaching tools are not limited only to the top clubs with deep pockets. Bishop Dowd High School in Oakland has two Pixellot systems, one in the outdoor field and one in the gymnasium. Carlos Arriaga, the high school's Athletic Director, said: "The coaches upload the files into the analytic coaching tools of their choice – mostly Hudl, but it is compatible with many systems. The teams then watch the videos together. The system has streamlined the process, automating multiple tasks – capture video, live streaming, uploading to the video analysis system. It’s super simple for the Athletic Directors to use. I highly recommend it.”

According to Alon Werber, Pixellot's CEO, the solution was not intended to replace existing camera operators and broadcasting staff. Rather, it enables high-quality broadcasting of games that were not produced before at an affordable cost, creating new opportunities in untapped markets. In addition, it provides useful coaching tools that were not available before. Pixellot is currently broadcasting more than 25,000 hours every month. The company has recently raised 30 million dollars and intends to use these funds to expand its install base in the college market.