Sports gamer live streaming , Twitch TV: is this the future of the Olympics?

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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has just announced a range of exciting changes to the way sports broadcasting will be streamed in the future, but it’s easy to forget that more than 10 million people have already access to a platform that has the potential to deliver that kind of output – and even more are likely to follow it over the coming months and years.

That platform is Twitch TV – an Amazon-owned company that’s responsible for what is known as “eSports”. These are live streams of video games, often of professional-level play, and Twitch has attracted some of the biggest names in sports broadcasting, including NBA basketball player Kevin Durant, who streams games on a daily basis, and professional boxer Floyd Mayweather, who recently expanded his play-by-play into a two-hour daily show.

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Sports and video gaming have been a natural fit from the start. ESPN, the world’s most-watched sports news network, only has a total reach of 86 million, but Twitch has more than 1.8 million users in the United States alone and is growing rapidly. At the same time as ESPN is banning streaming of its content to Twitch users, users have grown used to waiting in expectation to watch highlights or full matches online.

But it’s not just professional sports stars who are enjoying the platform. There are a variety of other sports including rugby, golf and even pick-up games of football streamed live online, making it possible to find someone playing virtually any type of sport and follow their actions. In fact, commentators are even streamed on and are able to react to what’s going on, even though they might not be present in the same room. See here IFVOD TV

The line between sport and non-sport can sometimes become blurred, but this is an area where Twitch can set itself apart from other networks. While some professional networks have a strict “athlete-owner” policy, allowing only the very best in the world to use them, the broadcaster also welcomes anyone from any country with an interest in the sport, allowing them to create a profile and broadcast games live on the site

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Given that these are called “eSports” as a result, there’s also an element of competition involved. This isn’t just a fan-run event, but a fiercely competitive arena with its own ranking system and bracket-style qualification stages. This has led to the creation of leagues with millions of fans of different sports watching the best playing each other.

Sport has always been about watching someone win and lose, but live streaming opens up a whole new form of watching sport. What is left to be seen, though, is whether broadcasters will be able to maintain their leading position in a market where eSports is growing exponentially.

The broadcasting of this year’s Olympic Games in Rio will be no exception. With over 3.7 million viewers watching a single event on NBC alone, the broadcaster is making a big deal of the fact that it will be broadcasting more than a thousand hours of Olympic content online each day, with six days’ worth of live coverage streaming online.