Dyn’s Digital Disruption Puts Emerging Sports in the Spotlight

Former German Football League (DFL) chief executive Christian Seifert and German media company Axel Springer teamed up to launch Dyn Media with a simple mission: to provide impactful coverage of sports that are usually overshadowed in a landscape that has long been dominated by football.

To provide the foundations for the vision, Dyn has acquired rights to top-tier domestic handball, basketball, volleyball, hockey and table tennis competitions. Continental or international rights have also been snapped up, such as for the Basketball Champions League, handball’s EHF Champions League and European League, and various World Table Tennis events.

To achieve the desired cut-through with this content, though, Dyn has had to differentiate its offering. In a bold move, it has made its coverage as accessible as possible by providing content to leagues, clubs and media partners, to amplify exposure—with increasing exposure on non-game days viewed as essential. Simultaneously, Dyn has committed to digitizing production and distribution to encourage sustainable, rather than cost-heavy processes.

Vital partnership

Dyn’s partnership with WSC Sports has been vital in executing this strategy, according to chief executive Andreas Heyden.

WSC Sports, the pioneer in AI-powered sports content technology, has collaborated with Dyn since April 2023 some four months before the over-the-top (OTT) platform’s launch. WSC Sports automatically creates, manages and distributes highlights and other match content in real time for Dyn to share on its platform and social media channels.

As part of this cooperation, the Handball Bundesliga (HBL) and Basketball Bundesliga (BBL)—and a number of their clubs—have full access to WSC Sports’ capabilities, as part of a drive to optimize exposure of the leagues, teams and players. Clubs that opt in gain access to the technology with no operational set-up required, enabling them to leverage WSC Sports in order to grow their brand and connect with their fans.

I’ve worked with WSC Sports since 2017, when I was in my former role at the Bundesliga. They always deliver on their promises and push the limits in quality and innovation.”

Driving awareness

With the support of WSC Sports, Dyn appears to have made solid progress so far. Whilst specific numbers have not been disclosed, a subscription-based model accounts for the bulk of Dyn’s income to date, ahead of advertising and sponsorship sales.

An affordable price point of €14.50 (£12.50/$15.60) per month—or €12.50 per month for a year—has enticed handball and basketball fans, who previously paid more to access less content on other platforms. Hockey coverage was primarily distributed by Dyn on YouTube in the first season to optimize exposure, but the 2024-25 season will be available on Dyn’s OTT platform.

Furthermore, from over 2,400 games covered by Dyn in the 2023-24 season of sporting action, thousands of highlights videos were packaged up and, as a result, have been watched by millions of fans on social media platforms.

“We are very satisfied with the results after just a few months,” Heyden says. “Dyn believes in a paradigm shift in the exploitation of media rights. The demand for paid content, our data shows, is created by the awareness of free content on non-match days.”

Content desk

Dyn’s Content Desk, which gives clubs, leagues and broadcasters the opportunity to upload and download content, is at the heart of efforts to democratize coverage and ultimately boost the popularity of the sports covered by the platform.

Dyn’s Digital Disruption Puts Emerging Sports in the Spotlight

 

“A key component of our engagement strategy is to share content across the different players in the sports ecosystem,” Heyden says. “To this end, we have developed our Content Desk platform, which allows us to share content across the ecosystem so that everyone can tell the best story for their audience.”

“Our mission is to increase the reach and appreciation of the sports that have entrusted us with their rights. We do so by sharing content we produce ourselves with clubs, leagues and media partners, increasing the accessibility of content drastically. Together with WSC Sports, we have created a model that enables collaboration.”

Automation

As part of Dyn’s strategy, automated digital production and distribution is viewed as a key pillar, particularly given the scale of the coverage. For this reason, Heyden adds, it is vital for sports properties like the HBL and BBL to have access to WSC Sports’ capabilities.

“With access to WSC Sports, we enable the leagues and clubs to create content in real time consistently from Monday to Sunday,” Heyden adds. “This is very important because Dyn wants to increase the awareness and appreciation of sports that are currently underrepresented in the media, such as the HBL and BBL.

“With an editorial concept that combines paid and free reporting, a strong social media strategy and intensive marketing we can take a holistic approach that supports the sustainable development of the leagues and their clubs. It is therefore essential to be able to create highlights and other videos quickly and automatically.”

Primarily, the goal is to cater not just to existing fans, but also to younger generations who have a greater appetite for short-term and mobile-optimized content.

AI

Meanwhile, AI is playing a central role in driving Dyn’s day-to-day operations.

Dyn has installed more than 40 AI cameras across different venues in Germany to capture sporting action, building on the AI that underpins WSC Sports’ automated content creation and distribution.

Dyn’s Digital Disruption Puts Emerging Sports in the Spotlight

 

The next step for Dyn’s digital strategy is to build on this by exploring new storytelling opportunities.

“Having an emotional narrator who tells the story of the match is still something that fans want,” Heyden says. “In addition, the ability to create video assets from metadata using new developments in generative AI will open the possibility of providing more relevant content to fans. Of course, we need to tread carefully and make sure that we meet our responsibilities to our fans and sports.

“When it comes to distribution, we are seeing a move towards personalized content. Social media platforms have been the gold standard here, and being able to provide similar functionality on our platforms using WSC Sports will be increasingly important to provide the best possible experience.”