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Sports Conference, Hong Kong, May 2017

Technology takes center-stage at the ABU Sports Conference in Hong Kong

The highlight of the 2017 ABU Sports Group conference and associated meetings in Hong Kong (May 15-17) was technology. Several presentations were featured on Sports broadcasting and technology such as the OTT solutions.

Welcoming the delegates, the Acting Chairperson of the ABU Sports, Mr John West said, broadcasters must be aware of the role that technology is playing. Our challenge he said, “is how we harness these technologies to bring new and younger audiences to our platforms”.

The Executive Director and the General Manager of TVB Hong Kong, Mr SK Cheong in his keynote address spoke about the changing broadcasting landscape. He said, Hong Kong is no exception. He spoke of the partnership between ABU and the TVB, and emphasized the role of ABU for communication and for exchange of ideas. “There is plenty of room for dialogue, and for exchange and cooperation among broadcasters’ he told the delegates.

Mr Cheong also said, there is no question about what is impacting our lives, is technology. “We may not know technology and even fear it. But it is the responsibility of broadcasters to think outside of the box, and think imaginatively and bravely about how we can use technology to the extreme to serve our audiences” he said.

The ABU Secretary General Dr Javad Mottaghi thanked the TVB for hosting the conference, and applauded the long standing partnership between ABU and TVB. Dr Mottaghi said technology has brought lot of changes to the Union, to the broadcasting, and to the industry.

“ABU as a service oriented, member oriented, and forward looking organisation was able to adapt to the changing environment and technology”. The Secretary General said, the union today has over 270 members in 69 countries reaching 3.5 billion audiences.

The conference saw several presentations on OTT solutions. These include “A Hong Kong OTT Success Case Study”, which delved into the lessons learnt while, implementing myTV SUPER, the biggest OTT platform in Hong Kong.

The Senior Vice President, Head of IMG Media, Asia Pacific Mr Chris Guiness, spoke on the changing landscape for media in Asia Pacific and its impact on sports rights. The Senior Vice President, Global Client Services, Neulion, Mr Charles Mellilo, made a extesive presentation titled Unlocking OTT and its advantages”. The Director of Sales, Sportradar Mr Roko Coko, spoke about – More Data and OTT’s Power to Engage, focusing on the use sports data and content.

The member’s forum, saw Nepal, and Papua New Guinea, sharing experiences and challenges faced in sports broadcasting. While Mediacorp Singapore presented OKTO Sports services and how to make sports fun through strategies such as creating sports IPs among others.

There were presentations on the up-coming sporting events like, the SEA Games Malaysia, Taipei 2017 Universaide, and the host of the next ABU Sports conference, TVRI, Indonesia.

The Hong Kong Conference also saw the election to the sports group committees. The Chairperson of the Sports Group, Mr Jiang Heping of CCTV was unanimously re-elected for another 2 year term.

The next sports group conference and associated meetings will take place during the 2017 ABU General Assembly in Chengdu, China.