Israel’s state broadcaster KAN used Sport Buff technology to engage hundreds of thousands of viewers during the World Cup – and now it wants to do even more.
Broadcaster KAN is using the gamification and fan engagement platform Sport Buff to find new ways to keep its viewers entertained and informed.
KAN 11, which is the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation, implemented Sport Buff technology in the run up to last year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Sport Buff is an interactive fan platform that offers content tailored directly to the audience.
The platform’s on-screen graphics give viewers extra information and interaction – through posts, polls, and quizzes – that aim to enhance their enjoyment and understanding of events. For the World Cup, Sport Buff’s technology was delivered using a scalable platform run on AWS and created by Ensono Digital.
Lior Ovadia, Digital Project Manager at KAN, says the broadcaster is using Sport Buff technology to boost user experiences, which he describes as a key performance indicator (KPI) for the business. By using the interactive fan platform during the World Cup, KAN was able to improve engagement and prove its digital smarts:
People could see the dedication of KAN to the user experience. You could use the app to watch games on your TV, laptop or smartphone, and you also had data and quizzes that could keep you engaged. That level of interaction put KAN in a different place in our market.
Sport Buff’s platform forms part of an overarching attempt by KAN to give viewers more options to engage with digital content. World Cup matches were staged throughout the day, so KAN used Sport Buff in combination with its mobile app to give viewers access to match content regardless of their location. Ovadia explains:
The match hours during the group stages of the World Cup meant not everyone was at home on their couch in front of a TV. We knew that a lot of our viewers would come from digital platforms and would need to watch the game in the app. We wanted them to remember KAN as an innovative organization that responded to their needs.
Rather than developing a digital platform in-house, KAN decided to use an external provider. When it came to procurement, KAN worked with FIFA and its technology partner HBS to make the most of Sport Buff’s capabilities.
Taking the lead
By using Sport Buff to set quizzes and ask questions, Ovadia says the aim was to create an interactive experience that made people want to use KAN’s mobile app every day during the World Cup:
We’d set quizzes, viewers would answer questions, and then they’d get feedback where they’d see their score. As a viewer, you could see yourself on the leader board in the app and it made you competitive with your friends.
This approach led to high engagement. Across all global broadcasters, 40 million viewers engaged with almost 200 million Sport Buff posts, polls and quizzes during the World Cup. Viewers who used KAN’s app to watch Qatar 2022 matches when they were out and about carried on using the app once they were home. According to Ovadia:
People were back on the couch watching the TV, but they opened the second screen of the app to participate in quizzes and games. We heard from a lot of viewers that we provided a unique experience during the World Cup.
Ovadia’s team hoped viewers would download KAN’s app to watch the World Cup, enjoy its features, and carry on using it once the tournament finished. Evidence to date suggests that objective was met. There were 220,000 active users of KAN’s mobile app in the two weeks before the World Cup. During the tournament, there were 767,000 downloads of the mobile app. Two weeks after the World Cup, KAN’s mobile app had 516,000 active users. Ovadia says:
We were really concerned about people uninstalling the day after the World Cup finished. But we didn’t see major uninstalling. We saw thousands of new downloads during the World Cup and most of them stayed with KAN.
Sport Buff’s platform provided another big benefit. KAN’s editors in the digital department had a direct line to TV commentators during the World Cup matches. The editors fed data from quiz answer to the commentators, who used this insight to provide fan feedback on in-game decisions, such as penalties and red cards. Ovadia recalls:
We’d send the answers to our commentators and they’d talk about it, saying they asked viewers about the decision using the app and Sport Buff. And if you’re watching on your TV, you’re curious – ‘what is everybody talking about?’ You want to be part of it, too.
After the final whistle
Ovadia argues that the combination of KAN’s mobile app and Sport Buff technology has helped demonstrate the broadcaster’s digital credentials and built a foundation for further innovation:
It’s added another layer of engagement and communication with our viewers. We look at Sport Buff as having abilities that are bigger than just sport. We think it’s relevant for a lot of other types of broadcasting. We see a lot of potential and I hope we can build something on that platform in the future.
Ovadia gives some examples of where he feels the Sport Buff technology might help to build engagement in other areas, including royal weddings:
We think it’s relevant for every live event where the commentator is preparing and has a lot of data to share during a broadcast. So, you can show the information on screen and let people engage. Just for example, think of something like the wedding of Harry and Megan. It’s a classic event for asking questions – how many flowers, how many guests? – and getting people to vote on something that happens during the live broadcast.
For other business and digital leaders who are thinking of using Sport Buff technology, Ovadia has the following advice:
Have a clear strategy of what you want to achieve. If engagement is a part of your KPIs, Sport Buff is a unique tool that can be the next step for boosting experience when you’re watching TV, even if it’s a live broadcast or video on-demand content. It’s a game-changer for user experiences.
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