December 22, 2023

What Technologies Have Affected Sports In The Past Decade?

Technology has penetrated many levels of our society and economy. Given that sports are so popular on a global scale, technology has had a continuous and consistent impact on the industry, and this is only the case because sports companies and franchises have been willing to play ball. Although companies and businesses now need to implement technological changes into any future business model to adapt to the mobile-centric world in which we live, sports has a unique and somewhat different relationship regarding the emergence of such disruptive innovation.

Secondary sports markets impacted by tech

Sports betting companies are just one arm of the gigantic sporting industry that has witnessed wholesale changes due to technology. Gone are the days of walking into a sports betting shop, writing down your selection on paper, and waiting for the games to conclude before you cash out your potential winnings. Online gambling has transformed how we place wagers on our favorite sports teams and events, and technology has changed the market so that it is completely unrecognizable from what it was just a couple of decades ago.

Now that mobile betting is the industry standard and technological improvements have impacted it so influentially that it almost exclusively revolves around mobile devices, there are several ways sports betting companies aim to try and develop their own brands and make attempts to attract bettors. Sports betting bonuses are one of the most tried and tested ways to get people on board. The current Unibet bonus focuses on this angle of the industry. However, it’s crucial to point out that mobile app gambling would never exist without the implementation and amalgamation of innovative technology and sports betting companies working in unison.

Direct technological impact: Premier League and VAR

Throughout the past decade, the emergence of goal line and Hawkeye technology has remodeled games that are in the hearts and souls of millions. Some may argue that remodeled is the wrong word, and especially in the case of soccer, mutated might be a much better verb given how video assistant referee (VAR) technology has caused nothing but controversy in the Premier League since it was introduced in 2019.

A tsunami of controversy has meant that fans have completely changed their mind regarding video refereeing, with many now wanting the whole idea scrapped. However, some believe it has added a box office element to the world’s most-watched soccer league. There are much better implementations of the same technology in rugby and cricket, which allow the game to flow much better than the rather ponderous VAR, which can often take minutes to resolve, having a negative impact on the game’s flow.

Streaming platforms and viewership figures

Although the United Kingdom has retained the subscription television model with its Sky Sports package, other countries have shifted their soccer approach to streaming services. Sports like the NBA offer season tickets for international fans, and it is a lucid, fair, and 21st-century solution to a world that continues to play catch up with the latest technology, whether it is the rise of the mobile phone or the current rise of AI.

Watching sports via your laptop or mobile device was an avenue that was already gathering momentum a decade ago. However, the continued rise has meant that streaming and viewing sports online or via the internet has become an enormous business, and many predict that by the mid-point of this century, TV channels could become redundant as streaming services can broadcast to a much greater audience, far more conveniently.

Conclusion

As you can see, the last decade has brought about a range of technological changes, and there isn’t one level of sports that hasn’t been changed by technology, whether it is out on the field, on sports betting websites or among the confusion and subjectivity of VAR. Although it is a sliding scale, there’s a strong case that technology has done a lot more harm than damage, especially if you’re looking at the broader scope and not talking specifically about the teething issues VAR has had.

If we’re talking about impact, though, no other technological change has had such a profound impact as VAR, and it continues to divide opinion, polarize fans and experts, and cause a serious emotional rollercoaster for fans all over England. Who knows whether VAR will still be operational by the end of this decade or whether further changes will transform it once again, having yet another profound impact on the English game.

About the author 

Kyrie Mattos


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