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Innovation The Key To Enhancing Racing Fans Experience

Friday, 9th May 2014

At the Asian Racing Conference in Hong Kong, television industry leaders Joerg Heise and Gary Burns, keynote speakers at the 'Cutting Edge Technology in Sports TV' session, discussed the latest innovations in sports broadcasting and how it may potentially be applied to racing, reports 1.skysports.com. Another theme to emerge from the session was that innovation not only lifts the viewer experience to a higher plane but is also likely to extend attention span, thus increasing audience retention and participation. "The application of cutting edge technology greatly enhances the viewer experience," said Heise, managing director and chief operating officer of the German-based Riedel Communications, adding: "The viewer becomes immersed rather than simply watching." This view was endorsed by Oonagh Chan, the Hong Kong Jockey Club's Head of Broadcasting Services. "We must unleash the power of choice by developing and designing content across multiple media platforms to enhance the customer's experience," Chan said. Burns, Head of Programmes and Production at Fox Sports in Australia, said that broadcast innovation was the key to delivering an entertaining experience. He highlighted Fox Sports' innovations in other sports, including cricketer Shane Warne being 'mic'd up' and predicting the dismissal of a batsman as he prepared to bowl, and suggested that a 'live wire' to a jockey or trainer could enhance the racing TV experience. Burns also suggested that the broad 360 degree camera shot, popular in football and rugby coverage, could be applied to paddock coverage at the races. "In play innovations are an important part of improving coverage, but are not possible without the support and co-operation of the clubs and governing bodies," Burns said. Hiese stressed the need to innovate in all sports coverage, including horse racing, and pointed to potential economic benefits. "Advances in television technology can create brand new perspectives and the commercial logic of live coverage is that attraction and emotion can generate transaction," he said.

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