• Andy Marston

How IBM uses AI to identify match highlights for Wimbledon

Through their continued partnership with IBM, Wimbledon are at the cutting edge of broadcast technology. Here's how it works and why it's important.

Photo Source: IBM

Highlights, whether sports, film, or television, are the fastest growing segment of video, with the enterprise video market expected to grow to nearly $20 billion by 2023. Aiming to grab more of that burgeoning market, content creators can use artificial intelligence (AI) to analyse massive amounts of video and data.

And this goes for sports rights holders, too.

A great, and very timely example of this is Wimbledon, and their continued partnership with IBM. Thanks to the ‘ground-breaking AI systems used by IBM Watson’, the best highlights from multiple matches at Wimbledon are able to be captured simultaneously.

With over 18 courts and up to four matches per court each day, hundreds of hours of footage are produced. This would ordinarily take a team of editors a huge time to compile into highlights packages. However, as the AI highlights system continuously tracks the action and ranks every point, highlights packages are created within 2 minutes of a match finishing.

The system, which watches player reactions, listens to crowd excitement levels, and analyses the gameplay statistics, enables Wimbledon to deliver unmissable moments without delay.

As a rights holder, this gives Wimbledon the ability to have new conversations with its audience, and to better engage with fans from around the world.

Furthermore, as IBM explain, “Auxiliary engagement channels, such as widgets or mobile apps, can drive ad inventory by creating relevant, contextual fan experiences that resonate with an advertisers’ message. In an ad-funded sports model, this experience creates ad slots that can be monetized.”