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  HOME | Sports (Click here for more)

Tech Giants Turn to Football for Innovation, Streaming Services

MADRID – Tech giants Microsoft and Amazon have turned to football for innovation and streaming services, respectively.

E-commerce giant Amazon will roll out its network to include European football starting by streaming English Premier League matches in its first month.

Amazon has also penned an agreement with the German Bundesliga and will broadcast the Champions League in Germany in 2021.

The Prime Video streaming service tested the waters for the first time in December when it broadcast English Premier League matches, including 10 of the famous Boxing Day encounters played on Dec. 26-27.

The new initiative, the result of a three-year contract that allows it to offer 20 games each season, began on Dec. 3 and in its first days registered a record number of sign-ups to the service, the tech company said.

Prime Video Europe director Alex Green said “millions of fans” joined the platform in England to watch the football.

“We are excited to be the first-ever broadcaster to bring fans all 10 games live in a fixture round,” Green told reporters at the time.

“We are thrilled and humbled by the positive response from Prime members,” he added.

The company’s efforts to cozy up to the king sports in Europe have not ended there.

This week Amazon Web Services (AWS) has signed an agreement to be the technology provider of the German Bundesliga.

The German championship will use its services to customize the content that its digital platforms offer fans, with machine learning technologies and artificial intelligence.

The technology will cause users to access content relating to favorite players, equipment and teams offering a personal experience.

AWA will also allow the Bundesliga to offer real-time forecasts of the odds of scoring a goal during the match, as well as notifications with the key moments for each match and statistical data.

Amazon’s next assault in its football offensive will be the Champions League, which it expects to broadcast during the 2021-22 season offering one game every Tuesday, a total of 16 games per season.

In other news, the Global Sports Innovation Center (GSIC) powered by Microsoft has launched a competition for emerging Latin American start-ups using innovative tech with a sports application.

The tender will run from February 26-27 in Mexico City as part of the Sports Summit MX 2020 forum.

Microsoft seeks innovations in specific areas, including media, user experiences, business analytics, eSports, smart stadiums and sports performance.

Companies keen on participating have to submit applications by February 9 through a digital form available on the GSIC website and in which they must submit a proposal, business model and present the team behind the company.

A jury of experts will choose the ten best companies, which will present their project in person or via video conference in the final.

The evaluation committee, made up of representatives of Spain’s LaLiga, US National Basketball Association and the Mediapro television production among others, will choose three winners.

The winning teams will receive one year’s worth of free advice from Microsoft’s GSIC and access to the center’s services and network of contacts.


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