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ABU’s first Sports Media Conference (SMC) ends on a high note

The Sports Media Conference (SMC) concluded successfully after a few days of information-packed sessions which included masterclasses and workshops led by the world’s leading trainers and speakers from the sports broadcasting industry.

The last day was capped by a session called ‘Industry Developments – Revolution of Sports Production through AI’, featuring panellists Dipesh Makwana (Business Development Manager, VIZRT,), Nusrat Akter Lovely, (Regional Manager, Axle AI), Fintan Mc Kiernan (CEO, Ideal System, Singapore) and Hu Yi (General Manager of Migu Marketing Department).

The session, moderated by ABU Secretary General, Ahmed Nadeem, deep dived into the undeniable impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on sports broadcasting, which includes, but is not limited to improved fan engagement, better translation and captioning services, richer metadata, improved facial recognition, and so on. In short, AI helps deliver more engaging, personalised and data-driven content in the sports broadcasting field.

Earlier  in the day, a panel discussion about women’s sports in Asia, and its growth, development, commercialisation and challenges, took place. Key leading figures in the female sports industry Gina Tan (Senior Media Rights Manager, Mediapro, Singapore), Soleen Al Zoubi (Head of Women’s Football, Football Association of Malaysia), Dr Wirdati Radzi, (sports lawyer and sports advisor, Malaysia) and Asniar Litiloly (sports journalist, Radio Republik Indonesia), shared their insights and perspectives.

The past few decades have seen remarkable progress in women’s sports from both players and viewers, but women in sports still struggle with personal and structural barriers, which poses issues in equity and sustainable development. All the panellists agreed that a whole-of-society approach is important to boost women’s participation in sports, and that comes from family support, government help, private sector collaborations, policy changes, and of course, the power of the media to make positive change.

During the launch of SMC which took place on May 15th, the Secretary General said the SMC is not entirely new, but has been rebranded to keep up with industry relevance and standards. He explained that the main purpose of SMC is to bring sports closer to the masses, and make it more accessible as sports events have long been inaccessible and unaffordable to most people.

Themed “The Rise of Sports in Asia,” the Sports Media Conference (SMC) is a flagship event organised by ABU, gathering sports field players, media and experts to push for sports broadcasting excellence across the Asia-Pacific region. The three-day event took place at the Royale Chulan, Kuala Lumpur, from 14th May to 16th May.