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NBA’s new tool creates near-real time highlight reels

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In a move to become a global powerhouse in fan engagement, the NBA announced last week it had partnered with WSC Sports Technologies to create highlights in near-real time using the company’s AVGEN (Automated Video Generator) technology.

“It [AVGEN] does that by analyzing both video and the video quality, the audio quality and the audio waves as well as our statistical feeds — particularly our play by play — and combining all those three things its actually able to create video highlights based on a set of rules that we determine,” said Mike Allen, senior vice president of digital products for the NBA.

Allen said the editor’s job has not changed. But what has changed is the amount of content that can be produced. That’s exciting for the NBA, as they hope to promote lesser known players as well as the association’s major stars.

“We are still creating those same highlight packages that we do night in and night out, but this allows us to create so much additional content that we otherwise would not have had the manpower to do,” he said. “We are now able to cater the content creation based on our fans preferences and needs around the world.”

With this new software tool, the NBA hopes to capitalize on the global demand for online content.

“Last year alone, we had 4.2 billion views across our app and our website and what we are finding with all this additional content we are able to create is the demand is really growing and we are able to satisfy our fans in a way we were not able to do so before,” Allen said.

The partnership already seems to be a success. In the first six weeks of the season 20,000 highlight packages were created, on average 350-450 per game. Right now the software is only available to broadcasters, but in the future the NBA may allow fans to create their own highlight reels. 

Additional production by Praveen Sathianathan.

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