The sports communication profession has undergone a series of transformations since the invention of sports. During the First World War when sporting activities were gaining popularity across the globe, the primary sources of information were print publications and newspapers. Sports communication professionals would gather information which was verified through multiple sources before being published. At the moment, the former model of sports journalism is obsolete. The internet has played a crucial role in sports communication. With technological developments, information is relayed in real time. Technological changes have affected how content about sports is published. Some of the innovations that have changed sports journalism are the development of applications that can streamline. Social media platforms such as Twitter also provide instantaneous updates. There is also powerful software capable of producing human-like content. With all these developments, sports communication professionals face various threats as well as opportunities as a result of advancements in technology.
Technologies Affecting Sport Communication Professionals Today
With the help of internet connection, sports applications have taken something that a sports communication personnel would write and publish in a newspaper and made it obsolete. The sports apps have become popular and are known to give fans a better experience and a quicker content curated to the sports the fans want at any moment. An example of a sports app is the TSN app capable of showing live scores, highlight videos and even interviews that were done after a game (Richardson, 2013). Fans can also control the content they wish to watch or read.
Online Streaming Websites
Woods’ research clarifies that during 2010 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball, the NCAA combined with CBS sports to form an online streaming website for games that took place during working hours. During the tournament, there were 3 million unique visitors to the site. The website also features the “boss button” which helped employees get away with watching during working hours. It is reported that the button was hit 2 million times during the tournament. The sports communication professionals are becoming idle because of such kind of streamlining on websites.
The social media also plays an active role in the sports industry. Sports communication professionals can no longer hold the scores of a match; it is a matter of seconds before the information is relayed to fans. Fans get live scores of a game on social media. Reporters have a hard task of providing more than what social platforms can offer. Sports communication personnel will have to look at individual plays and create more things to report. Twitter is the best example of social platforms with many users.
Intelligent Machine Softwares
The advancements in technology have led to the development of human-like software. Narrative Science is an example of a company which created a code that can mimic human reasoning. The software can acquire data such as sports statistics or financial reports and after that creates an article. Technology has drastically changed the traditional sports journalism, and there is a likelihood that robot journalists will end up replacing humans. Technology has also reduced the cost of production that is why several companies have purchased intelligent software to cut down on cost.
Greatest Opportunities that the Technologies have on Sport Communication Professions
Sports reporting is more than the box scores. Advances that have been made in sports communication such as sports tracking and statistics can be used by sports communication professionals to give reporters a more detailed report and thus increase the amount of content. Quality content is far much better than any available material (Alonso, 2014). Even though robots are available to write shorter snippets, humans will still be required in writing in-depth articles about sports. Sport communication professionals can also seize the opportunity and provide the best experience to the fans on platforms such as SnapChat.
Threats to the Sports Communication Profession
The sports communication profession faces a severe risk of fake or inaccurate information. Since information is presented without being audited, there are high chances of inaccuracy or falsehood (Guttmann, 2016). There are so many unverified bloggers in sports communication with different intentions, and this is why it is worrying to depend on unreliable information.
There is a likelihood of a decline in the number of professionals in sports communication because of low demand in the market. Most organization hire few trained personnel in sports journalism because of the availability of other options in the market. The internet, applications, and software are slowly taking the place of humans. Besides, technology changes rapidly, and it may be difficult for sports communication professionals to cope with such changes given by the fact that the future is unpredictable.
There are so many emerging technologies affecting the sports communication profession today. The internet has given rise to various innovations such as sports applications, online streaming, social media and intelligent machine software which have a significant impact on information delivery to the targeted parties. The advancements in technology have led to threats such as replacing humans with machines and software. Nevertheless, some opportunities arise from all these developments which can be used for the benefit of sport journalism professionals.
Alonso, D. S. M. (2014). Strategies in sports marketing: Technologies and emerging trends.
Guttmann, A. (2016). Sports spectators. New York: Columbia University Press.
Richardson, A. F. (2013). Sports. Princeton, N.J: Peterson’s.