Sports tech startup targets 100 AI automation in broadcasting

A Swedish startup plans to bring automated sports streaming to the masses after raising $20mn to enhance its AI camera system.

The Malmö-based Spiideo produces a suite of tools for broadcasting and data analytics. At their core is an AI model that mimics professional camera operators.

“We've trained it specifically for the 15 sports we support to properly capture the nuances of each one,” Patrik Olsson, Spiideo's co-founder and CEO, told TNW.

The finished model guides the movements of panoramic cameras. Once installed at grounds and arenas, the system can fully-automate sports broadcasting and streaming. Spiideo also provides video analytics for live game and player data.

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Over 6,000 venues and 4,000 teams use the products, the startup says. They include football clubs in England's Premier League, Italy's Series A, and Germany's Bundesliga, as well as basketball franchises in the NBA and ice hockey sides in the NHL. 

Leading leagues and federations are also customers. Yet arguably the biggest beneficiaries are lower-level teams and niche sports. Spiideo promises them “TV-class” production at “previously unimaginable” price points.

A screenshot of a football match showing data generated by AI
Alongside the streaming service, Spiideo supplies football clubs including Inter Milan, Wolves, and LA Galaxy with a video analysis tool. Credit: Spiideo

Monetising sports footage with AI

Last year, the global value of sports media rights reached a record high of almost $56bn, according to research firm SportBusiness.

By automating production, Spiideo offers rights-holders new routes to scale their investments.

“It is opening up media rights markets that couldn't previously be monetised due to high production costs,” Olsson said.

The fresh investment provides another chance to lower the entry barriers. Cipio Partners, a Munich-based growth equity firm, led the round. Total funding for the startup now stands at $40mn.

With the latest cash injection, Spideo plans to eliminate the need for manual video production. Olsson has a clear target in mind: “100% AI automation.”

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