Cloud Innovations are Driving Personalization for Live Sports Streaming

4 min read

While watching sports in person is always a fun time, many fans are opting to watch their teams in the comfort for their own home via live video streams. This trend has opened the door for content providers to enhance streams for viewers to offer a more personalized, engaging, and immersive experience

Streaming of live sports events is booming. A study by Parks Associates predicts that annual sports streaming subscription revenue in the U.S. will increase by 73% from $13.1 billion in 2022 to $22.6 billion in 2027. Consumers love to watch live sports via video streaming services; however, there is a growing need for personalization. Fans are more satisfied and engaged when sports content has been personalized with real-time stats, multiple camera views, targeted ads and other advanced features.

This article will explore the key technologies driving better personalization in live sports streaming and the opportunities personalization brings to content providers streaming both premium and niche sports.

Strategies for Personalizing the Live Sports Streaming Experiences 

Two key transformations happening with regards to personalizing live sports streaming experiences. First, the user experience is becoming significantly more engaging. Second, ads are becoming more relevant and persuasive to viewers. 

Multiview is a state-of-the-art technology enabling more immersive live sports streaming experiences. With multivew, service providers shoot multiple camera angles of a scene and then enable viewers to choose the angle that they want to watch. Multiview elevates the live sports streaming experience by providing viewers with multiple angles of significant events, such as goals and penalties. 

Another way service providers can improve personalization of live sports streaming experiences is by providing real-time graphics and data. The Hong Kong Jockey Club is a sports organization experimenting with synchronizing sports data with the video at the player level. After conducting a deep dive analysis on consumers, they concluded that the younger generation of viewers is hungry for data and control over what they’re watching. By enabling viewers to choose which graphic overlays and sports data they want to see, video service providers can satisfy the demand for data-driven sports streaming experiences.

In addition, watch together makes live sports streaming experiences more socially engaging and personalized. Watch together allows viewers to watch videos with friends and family, see their reactions and comment in real time, no matter where you are in the world. The main challenge of delivering watch together services is that live streams need to be delivered synchronously. A low-latency video streaming platform is needed to ensure seamless communication between all connected viewers. 

Thematic sports channels are also accelerating. Sports leagues and rights holders generally have a deep library of content, and by launching a free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) channel, they can reach a specific audience with exclusive content such as live games, behind-the-scenes video, locker room tours, and more. By adopting a cloud-based video platform that includes channel assembly capabilities, it’s easy to create thematic channels.

Gamification is another trend that is picking up steam to improve personalization for live sports streaming. With gamification, viewers receive instant-play games while watching live sports events. For instance, viewers will be asked whether they think a player will be successful with a penalty kick or what the final score of the game will be. Ultimately, gamification helps keep viewers engaged with the sports event.

The personalization enhancements happening to live sports streaming experiences are being driven by the latest cloud technology innovations. Cloud-based streaming platforms enable service providers to deliver personalized live sports streaming services, such as multiview and watch together, with unparalleled agility, resiliency, security and scalability for a superior, low-latency viewing experience. 

Improving Live Sports Streaming With Individually Addressable Advertising, Frequency Capping and More 

Live sports streaming is one of the most valuable ad inventory categories. By engaging viewers with compelling advertising, video service providers can create a superior live sports streaming experience and increase monetization opportunities.

Sports streaming platforms have access to a significant amount of viewer data, enabling them to build an accurate profile on each individual viewer and deliver deeper individual targeting and addressability. With an innovative server-side ad insertion (SSAI) SaaS that enables individually addressable advertising, including dynamic brand insertion, service providers can deliver targeted ads to millions of concurrent viewers for live sports streaming.

Segmenting viewers based on certain characteristics that advertisers want to target is key. With the latest SSAI technology, service providers can segment a much deeper level of audience to achieve the maximum CPM. Ads can be personalized down to the user level, based on available data.

Other ad techniques that video service providers can use to personalize live sports streaming include frequency capping and frequency control, which ensure that viewers do not see the same ads over and over again. When viewers see the same ad too much, it leads to fatigue and dissatisfaction with the overall streaming experience. Frequency capping and control keep viewers engaged and ensure that a brand doesn’t get oversaturated.

Another way to personalize ads, reduce oversaturation and improve brand recognition is through advertising storytelling. With this method of targeted advertising, three or four ads are delivered to viewers as part of an overall story that an advertiser is trying to tell. Once viewers have seen the first ad in the story, the consecutive ads are shown. Then, the next day the advertiser might show the same story again, or something completely different with the goal of delivering a memorable ad impression. 

In today’s increasingly fragmented sports streaming environment, keeping viewers engaged is critical. Fans have a number of options for consuming live sports content. By offering features such as multiview, watch together, and individually addressable ads, service providers can deliver a more appealing live sports streaming experience, drive viewer engagement and increase monetization.


This article was written by Rob Gambino from TV Technology and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive Content Marketplace. Please direct all licensing questions to

author placeholder image

Rob Gambino

Head of Advertising and Personalization Strategy at Harmonic