New partnership: using AI to deliver localised highlights

LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 23: Detail of shoes and socks and the official match ball of Derbystar during the Bundesliga match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and 1. FSV Mainz 05 at BayArena on September 23, 2018 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Lukas Schulze/Bundesliga/DFL via Getty Images )

05 March 2019 – Spectacular goals, impressive skills, unbelievable saves: These are the moments that many fans want to watch again and again after a football match. By partnering with WSC Sports, an Israeli technology company that applies artificial intelligence to sports highlights, the DFL can analyse more than 4,500 actions per Bundesliga matchday and create highlight clips tailored to select groups of fans, presenting moments from each game that matter to them.

WSC’s cloud-based platform – made up of two core applications, AVGen and Clipro – uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify hundreds of events within a game, pinpointing exactly when a key moment begins and ends. Each event is supported by contextual information, such as the players involved and type of event, as well as an event rating, which helps to search each match for specific moments. This process is automated and completed using a combination of image processing, audio analysis, data analysis, and machine learning algorithms.

Using the WSC Sports automated clips tool, the DFL can generate highlight reels based on various parameters, including a variety of actions, such as goals, tricks, tackles and more, with the system taking into account the reaction of the crowd and commentators to ensure that fans are delivered moments that excite and entertain them. The outcome is video content, delivered almost instantly, that is ready to be shared by the DFL and its licensees across their digital channels. With the ability to personalise content by focusing on particular teams, nationalities or players, as well as editing tools to individualise in-video graphics, intros and outros, the DFL can deliver localised content that promotes fan involvement and growth on an international scale.

As the first European league to partner with WSC Sports to build an AI-powered highlights solution, the DFL is at the forefront of sports media innovation. Implemented ahead of the 2018-19 season, the WSC platform has already helped to produce more than 1,800 videos for the Bundesliga, allowing the DFL’s partners to deliver bespoke content to fans even quicker than previously possible.

WSC Sports has already staked its claim as a champion in sports highlights through its partnerships with numerous high-profile sports leagues and organisations. The WSC tool has also helped other high profile organisations to achieve international growth – the NBA, for example, saw international video views grow by 1,500% after implementing the technology into its content production strategy.

Andreas Heyden, CEO of DFL Digital Sports: “AI and machine learning are a meaningful addition to our content production that allows us to serve customer needs and fan segments in an individualised way and to inspire them for the content of the Bundesliga. WSC is an important partner in fulfilling this mission.”

The WSC Sports partnership once again highlights the DFL’s commitment to innovation. However, the automated clips tool is merely the first step, with the two partners continuing to discuss new ways to improve the fan experience. Together, the DFL and WSC hope to go beyond localised content and deliver new, industry-leading ways to connect fans, clubs and partners.