Is Latency not a Concern for Sports Streaming Anymore?

By Media Entertainment Tech Outlook | Thursday, July 09, 2020

Is Latency not a Concern for Sports Streaming Anymore?

In the domain of live sports streaming, the focus of viewers now seems to be shifting from latency to video quality.

FREMONT, CA: Modern technologies have advanced live sport streaming significantly in recent years. With the evolution of the media industry, live streaming of sporting events has now attained superiority over the traditional modes of telecast. Conventionally, the factor of latency has been the most important in sport streaming because it is expected that fans value streams that are as real-time as possible. However, the factor of streaming video quality might now be stealing the limelight.

A recent report published by Verizon Media sheds light on shifting viewership trends which value video quality over latency. According to the surveys carried out, only 42 percent tagged minimum latency as extremely important. On the other hand, around 64 percent of the respondents are of the opinion that high-quality pictures are extremely important. The same survey also finds out that the cost factor also scores above latency. Thus, the report challenges the conventional beliefs of streaming services that minimum latency is the most valued aspect of live sport streams.

In light of the report, sport streaming companies should now look to realign their priorities. Although surprising, the results highlight the importance that viewers now give to video quality. In today's digital ecosystem, viewing experience seems to have overshadowed a few seconds of lag. Besides, viewers now also have access to the latest display technologies, including 4K. A 4K display will show results only when streaming video quality is of high standards. Recently, the prices of devices with 4K displays have also come down significantly. These developments seem to have contributed to making latency less important than video quality in live sports streaming.

For media companies involved in sports streaming, now is the time to evolve technological aids and develop capabilities that allow the highest quality video streams. In addition to video quality, affordable subscription models should also be a must. Although latency might not remain the top concern anymore, in the age of 5G, it will still remain a significant differentiator.

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