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Fox engages sports fans, viewers with original-video deal

Fox Sports Regional Networks is leveraging social media and a fast mobile-video platform to produce original video content and connect with local sports fans and viewers.

Under a multi-year licensing agreement, Fox?s on-air talent and producers will use Burst?s mobile-video platform to report on games and team events by filming and showcasing behind-the-scenes content that will then be pushed out on Fox Sports? digital platforms and on social media in real time. The deal underscores mobile?s value as a way to build deeper fan and viewer brand engagement.

?Fox Sports Regional is looking for ways to create low-cost content,? said Tracy Deforge, co-founder and Co-COO of Boston-based Burst. ?Utilizing mobile video is the fastest, easiest, least expensive and most seamless way to create content and distribute it.?

Crowdsourcing content
For now, Fox reporters and producers will gather the content. Eventually, Fox plans to expand the technology to users who will be able to create their own content. 

Burst?s technology allows users to quickly crowdsource user generated content and post it in near real-time to digital platforms. 
Down the line, the network will also have the ability to crowdsource user-generated mobile video from fans across the nation, whether they are hanging out at home watching the game or at a rally cheering on one of their favorite local teams.

The Burst auto-publishing feature allows Fox reporters and producers to film and post original mobile video content from a smartphone or tablet to a number of different channels including television, Fox Sports Regional networks? websites and social media platforms.

Burst's mobile app.

Mobile?s emergence has Fox Regional Sports Network and other sports media searching for ways to deliver mobile content across multiple screens to fans who increasingly control their media choices. Fox found Burst to be the best choice, in terms of cost, efficiency and flexibility to create that content.

Los Angeles-based Fox is seeing success in the mobile sports world.

In a ForeSee report last July, the network topped the sports category for consumer satisfaction in mobile. A year earlier, Fox Sports launched a new application called Fox Sports Go as part of its rebranding as a national multi-sport network under the Fox Sports 1 moniker.

The new network aimed to elevate the in-game experience with informative news, entertaining studio shows and original programming to its viewers. 

Fox Sports has been a television-innovation leader, introducing the top-screen score-time graphic that is now used by many major networks.
Content library 
?It?s very important for a network to own its own information and content,? Ms. Deforge said. ?This allows the ability to control the distribution and the economics of that content by creating a library owned by the network.

?It?s extremely important for a network to remain on control of its own brand,? she said. ?Additionally, the Burst technology allows organizations to make decisions quickly without having others make decisions for them via social media.?

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter with Mobile Marketer, New York.