Pro League Forward partners win Sports Pro OTT Awards

On Tuesday, at the Sport Pro OTT-Summit 2020, three technology partners of the Pro League won a Sports Pro OTT Award. Eleven Sports, WSC Sports and LaLiga were rewarded for their innovative developments in recent years. The award-winning features are all being used by the Pro League and its innovation branch: Pro League Forward.

During the Sports Pro OTT Summit, organised yearly by SportsPro Media, media and football professionals gather to share their newest insights. The 2020 Summit focused, ofcourse, on the COVID-19 pandemic and the innovative commercial, content and marketing strategies that were developed to bridge the (unfortunate) gap between sports and its fans.

The Pro League was asked to share its recent initiatives on this renowned stage. Leander Monbaliu, Chief Business Officer and Head of Legal, discussed the media rights strategy of the Pro League and  the way it is used to stimulate innovation and growth at its clubs, in a panel discussion.

During the Summit, the Sport Pro OTT Awards are being presented. These Awards go to the driving forces of technological and digital innovations in the sports- and entertainment industry and are presented by an international jury of rightsholders, broadcasters, and representatives of the entertainment and tech industry. Three Pro League Forward partners won an award.

Just a few months after acquiring the exclusive rights to Belgian professional football, Eleven Sports received the Sport Pro Best OTT Platform Award. The jury praised the several innovative features of Eleven’s OTT platform, especially the “Watch Together”-feature, which strengthens the feeling of community with fans in an original way.

WSC Sports won an Award in the ‘Best Technology’-category. WSC Sports uses artificial intelligence to capture highlights of sports broadcasts and to generate customized clips that can immediately be published on social media. This technology is a true gamechanger of digital game experience. Fans can watch near-live highlights on their wearables. Through this unique collaboration between WSC Sports, Pro League and Eleven Sports, the Belgian clubs have access to this technology and can use to further engage their fans.

LaLiga won an Award in the “Anti-piracy”-category, for the second consecutive year. LaLiga developed an anti-piracy strategy over the years combining legal expertise, international cooperation, technological development, the gathering of evidence and communication campaigns. This diversified strategy is very effective in protecting intellectual property rights in a digital context. Rights that are crucial to the revenue model of the international sports industry.

Last season (2019-2020) 900.000 illegal streams, 375.000 videos on socials and more than 80.000 illegal URLs were detected and taken offline. The jury lauded LaLiga for being an leading example and partner for other leagues and sports organisations, such as the Pro League.

“The Pro League congratulates its partners with their well-deserved awards,” says Leander Monbaliu. “It is an indication of the quality of the Pro League Forward innovation strategy and our alliances, that an international, wide-ranging jury of experts makes the same choices. Through our cooperations with these partners all our clubs can benefit from the most recent technology and insights and use these to further improve their sports, commercial and communication strategies. This is the goal of our Pro League Forward strategy: track innovation and establish partnerships that strengthen our clubs and professional football in general.”