Entertainment and Media Guide to AI

AI in entertainment & media part 2 icon - film marker icon

Read time: 9 minutes

Many may have been introduced to the power of data in sports by the 2011 film Moneyball, starring Brad Pitt. Based on the book by Michael Lewis, it tracks the progress of the Oakland Athletics baseball team and its general manager Billy Beane, and it focuses on an analytical evidence-based approach. Fast forward to 2023, and all professional and even some amateur sports teams can deploy such tactics on a whole new scale using AI. However, this is not the only way in which we see AI appearing more and more in sports – we also see it in individual player performance analysis and in broadcasting and fan experiences. In this section, we explore some of these trends and developments.

Auteurs: Elle Todd Casey H. Yang Sam Hill

AI in sports

AI is being used increasingly across various aspects of sports. Companies, sports teams, physicians, investors, fans, sports broadcasters and the athletes themselves are using a number of new opportunities that AI offers.

New AI solutions are being successfully used across sports, helping to evolve sports broadcasting and deepen fan engagement. The sports technology industry is expected to be worth approximately $48.7 billion by 2028, growing at a rate of 16.8% each year, according to a report by KBV Research. If live broadcasts and commercial sponsorship were behind sport’s first great revolution in the second half of the 20th century, then digital technologies, turbo-charged by AI, could be the key to unlocking sport’s potential in the 21st century, impacting how it is analyzed, organized, monetized, played and consumed.

Player/performance analytics

AI is currently used to analyze player performance in various sports, including football (soccer), basketball and cricket. This analysis is typically done by tracking movements, calculating speed and agility and measuring and processing other data points. Computer scientists at institutions including Loughborough University in the UK have been developing specific AI algorithms designed to transform the way clubs analyze team and individual players’ performances on the pitch or court.

Companies are developing innovative software that uses both AI and machine learning to produce automatic tactical analysis in football matches based on advanced football know-how. This software is able to recognize tactical fundamentals from one source of video (requiring no additional data to be digested). The software is currently in use at FC Barcelona, and Head Coach Xavi Hernández has been publicly open about the benefits he sees from using AI for player performance analysis.

Incumbent and well-established football statistic companies work with hundreds of sports teams around the world, using their AI solutions to inform and enhance decision-making across various fields including performance analysis, player recruitment and long-term strategic planning. Croatia reached the 2018 World Cup Final, and some have attributed this success, in part, to the team’s player analysis work using AI-driven analysis tools. Player tracking technology can collect comprehensive tracking data from games through remote video sources, vastly expanding the data available to be collected for performance analysis and scalable scouting efforts. Using high-quality 4K imaging solutions helps to provide data in respect of tactics and other physical insights, allowing teams to better understand their performance and development needs.

Key takeaways
  • AI solutions are revolutionizing the world of sports in a variety of ways – from performance analysis to broadcasting and officiating, AI is changing the game (and will continue to rewrite the rules).