The sports media landscape is evolving at an unprecedented rate. Between streaming services, short-form video platforms, linear broadcasts, and a barrage of pre and post-game analysis, consumers are flooded with options.
In this era of immediate gratification, audiences now crave shorter, more dynamic content that aligns with their fast-paced lives. But producing the right content isn’t enough. It must be delivered on the consumer’s platform of choice, in the proper format, at the perfect time.
To meet these ever-shifting expectations, sports media organizations must embrace emerging technologies to not only attract, but retain, the attention of the modern sports fan.
Few executives are better equipped to answer this question than the President of Sports Content at TelevisaUnivision, Olek Loewenstein.
A dominant force in soccer broadcasting, TelevisaUnivision is actively seeking to further cement itself as an industry-leading sports rights holder.
— Univision (@Univision) July 16, 2023
Since joining TelevisaUnivision eleven years ago, Loewenstein has contributed to every aspect of the business, from clipping papers to signing multi-million dollar deals. As President of Sports Content, he now oversees all content produced by TUDN, across air, cable, digital publishing, and streaming platforms.
A dominant force in soccer broadcasting, TelevisaUnivision holds the majority of Mexican League soccer rights, partners with the Mexican national team, and captures 80% of soccer primetime viewership in the U.S. across all languages. In Mexico, where TelevisaUnivision controls 70% of the market in terms of ratings, it’s cemented itself as the home of landmark events like the Super Bowl, Olympics, World Cup, and NBA Finals.
With the acquisition of LaLiga rights in Central America and investment in streaming platform ViX, the company is actively seeking to expand its rights footprint further into the Americas, and this is only the start.
@Univision was the #1 rated network, regardless of language in primetime, with the broadcast of the @CONCACAF 2023 @GoldCup Final, Mexico vs Panama on Sunday, July 16th! Congratulations to the entire @TelevisaUnivision sports vertical @TUDNUSA & @TUDNMEX for their hard work. pic.twitter.com/TgBUEFvi2n
— TelevisaUnivision Public Relations (@TeleUniPRTeam) July 19, 2023
At Televisa Univision’s recent 2023-2024 Upfront in New York, the network announced the acquisition of the Spanish language rights to Super Bowl LVIII, UEFA EURO 2024, and CONMEBOL Copa America 2024, further cementing itself as an industry-leading rights holder.
Under Loewenstein’s leadership, TelevisaUnivision isn’t only determined to broadcast the biggest moments in sports, they want to define them.
A key factor in delivering on this mission is the network’s partnership with WSC Sports.
The global leader in AI-powered sports content, WSC Sports helps global sports organizations like the NBA, NHL, and YouTube TV quickly generate personalized sports content, while increasing its reach and providing new monetization opportunities. Since the company’s inception, WSC Sports has grown to its current roster of over 300 organizations that use its AI platform to instantly create automated video highlights responsible for reaching billions of fans.
“You don’t want to be the guy that heard the reaction to the goal on your neighbor’s television while you’re still watching a delayed stream. WSC allowed us to distribute these clips and highlights in real-time, which let us serve our audience in a proper way.”
Recently inking a long-term, cross-border deal, TelevisaUnivision will utilize WSC Sports’ technology to generate sports highlights for 15 soccer-related properties to which TelevisaUnivision owns rights between Mexico and the United States. The network will use WSC Sports’ technology to create match highlights and personalized short and long-form content to be distributed among TelevisaUnivision’s digital outlets including OTT service ViX, along with TelevisaUnivision’s social media platforms, apps, and more.
The partnership dates back to the duo’s success at the 2022 World Cup, where 19.6 million viewers chose TelevisaUnivision’s World Cup streaming production on ViX to watch 40 of the 64 total World Cup matches, all assisted by WSC Sports’ AI technology.
“The World Cup is very high stakes, very focused, very low latency,” said Loewenstein in an interview with Front Office Sports. “You don’t want to be the guy that heard the reaction to the goal on your neighbor’s television while you’re still watching a delayed stream. WSC allowed us to distribute these clips and highlights in real-time, which let us serve our audience in a proper way.”
Going forward, WSC Sports’ technology will continue to serve as a key tool in TelevisaUnivision’s content workflow, amplifying everything from creation to monetization and platform expansion.
“Our audience is craving short-form content, so having a tool that lets us serve them quickly is perfect,” he said. “We can also unfold our rights in new places, while expanding our reach across our owned and operated platforms and syndicated content.”Ultimately, this allows TelevisaUnivision to execute one of Loewenstein’s core tenets of sports media: fail cheap and fail fast.
Whereas traditional media like TV shows are slow and expensive to produce, today’s platforms and consumers place an emphasis on speed. “Now we can put out 100 clips, see what was consumed more, and then start learning,” he added. “Was it circumstantial? Was it the time when it was posted? Was it because it wasn’t an interesting game? And you start creating intelligence behind it about what is it that works and what is it that doesn’t.”
As for what’s to come, Loewenstein envisions a continued shift towards the aggregation of streaming services, shorter content formats, and a focus on maximizing value from broadcast rights.
But even with decades of experience, he insists his guess is as good as anyone else’s. “The speed of change is accelerating. Kind of like Moore’s Law in media. Every year things are moving quicker. Anyone who tells you they know what will happen is lying.”
This article was originally featured in Front Office Sports.