Watching sports together is one of the most popular social events in the world. Whether in large stadiums full of fans or around a TV friend’s snack, experiencing the athleticism of our favorite athletes is a time-honored tradition. As technology continues to evolve, the rise of live streaming has changed the way we consume sports entertainment. From podcasts to Twitch streamers, there are now more ways than ever to watch the games we love.
If we look at the history of observing games together, there is no clear beginning, as casual rivalries between people have been around since ancient times. The most notable examples are the Olympic Games, first recorded in 760 BC. Chr. took place, and the gladiatorial games in ancient Rome, which most closely resemble our current stadium sports.
In recent history, we can consider football as one of the most important sports in the world. The first official international match was recorded by FIFA as a union match in 1872 between England and Scotland. The match, attended by 4000 spectators, ended in a narrow 0-0 draw, but marked the official start of international football.
The introduction of television into the home has changed the way we interact with many things, including music and national events such as royal weddings. It also has a big impact on the popularity of the sport. The BBC started its television service in 1936, and the first televised football match took place in 1937, soon followed by rugby union, which played in the Calcutta Cup in 1938.
These games were quite popular, but are not as popular as today’s televised sports. In 2018, the World Cup final was watched by 1.1 billion people worldwide, making it the most watched event in the world. The communities that emerged in these early games have persisted and created lasting bonds and rivalries that continue to this day, which is also reflected in the online community.
There is no doubt that technology has changed the way we look at and interact with sports. The intent and introduction of WiFi into our homes has changed our lives into something that was totally unrecognizable to people just 50 years ago.
The Internet now provides us with work, food, commerce, entertainment, and household help, and it is no different than consuming sports media. These technologies allow us to access our favorite games at the touch of a button. We can also watch highlights, summaries and analysis from different providers, and with smart TVs we can pause matches and watch them live.
There is no denying the impact of the live stream. For example, the availability of streaming has contributed to the huge popularity of eSports. The streaming service Twitch started in 2011, but took off in 2020, attracting about 1 million additional viewers between March and April. Players play live, comment and chat with viewers, and share their screens so viewers can follow their progress. This allows the audience to feel involved, which fans appreciate.
The service is used for many things, from podcasting to streaming music, but it is best known for its gaming community, reminiscent of the days when you could only watch sports on TV. In fact, eSports tournaments are held every year with hundreds of thousands of participants, which clearly shows the interest of spectators and the public.
Similarly, viewers can watch poker live via Twitch, and with live streaming you can now play live poker games. Playing against professional dealers, players experience a glamorous casino in the comfort of their own home, with a range of difficulty levels from beginner to advanced. Streaming live games, from multiplayer action tournaments to simple dealer rivalries, gives players the sense of immediacy and immersion so sought after in the entertainment industry.
The other thing that the livestream has brought to sports fans is community. With multiple streaming platforms and their global availability, players and fans around the world can watch, interact and play together. These communities can provide tips and information about different games, as well as share and create content around the sport. Technological development shows no signs of slowing down. It is therefore important to take this into account, as it could lead to a completely different sporting culture in the future.
Once seen as an alternative to television broadcasting, streaming presents both opportunities and challenges to more traditional ways of broadcasting sporting events. While no one can predict what heights this medium will reach, one thing is certain: It will be an exciting journey.
sports streaming growth