26. May 2021

For the European Football Championship: TeraVolt develops interactive app for Vestel TVs

Hamburg, May 25th 2021

Multi-brand TV manufacturer Vestel has announced the launch of a new app that will allow soccer fans across Europe to immerse themselves in every major match and tournament, including the upcoming European Championship. The Football Corner app was developed in collaboration with agency and app developerTeraVolt and its AI-driven product TVXRAY, and is available now on all smart TVs manufactured by Vestel, including those for brands such as Toshiba, Hitachi, JVC, and Telefunken. The app is a particularly convenient and interactive companion to watching soccer, offering a filtered electronic program guide for up to seven days in advance, as well as real-time updates, insights, and statistics on matches and tournaments.

TeraVolt GmbH, which built this OTT experience based on its TVXRAY product, is responsible for the concept, implementation, and maintenance of the app.

The app will be available on about 10 million Vestel devices in 55 countries. TeraVolt's goal is to improve the user experience on the TV as first-screen in such a way that the second-screen (usually the smartphone) becomes superfluous. Viewers can call up a wealth of additional information on the current match, the individual team performances, and the groups at any time in the app, giving them a better overview. An approach with which the TeraVolt managers were able to fully convince Vestel.

"I am very proud that Vestel was so taken with our TVXRAY product. Now we have the chance to offer soccer fans all over Europe an all-around successful gaming experience with our app," says Tobias Künkel, Managing Partner at TeraVolt, who is leading the project.

Tobias Fröhlich, Co-Founder and Managing Director at TeraVolt, adds, "The concept of the second screen is outdated. We firmly believe that all the information and details viewers might want should always be available on the first screen. And smart TVs are ideally suited to meet these requirements and make the second screen obsolete."

"The timing for the launch of the app, just before a major tournament, couldn't be better," said Barış Altınkaya, Deputy General Manager of Marketing and Product Management, Vestel. "With this app, soccer fans no longer have to worry about missing even a second of live sporting action. The interactive match guide makes it easy to keep track of all the games, while real-time information and statistics help immerse you in the tournament action. With our latest 43", 48", 50", 55", 65" and 75" frameless big-screen TVs, everyone at home can also watch the latest soccer analysis on the big screen."

About TeraVolt

TeraVolt GmbH is an owner-managed agency for enhanced TV, based in Hamburg, Germany. Founded in 2006, TeraVolt specializes in the development of pioneering digital TV experiences. The agency provides its customers with tailor-made solutions, from market-specific consultation to the creation and technical implementation of innovative products. Its product portfolio includes services, consultation and applications in the areas of Managed Platforms, Enhanced TV, Monetization, and OTT. TVXRAY is a new product that provides interactive TV in a live broadcast OTT environment.

With a headquarter based in Hamburg, TeraVolt consists of a highly experienced management team and 45 strategy, product and technology experts.


About Vestel

Comprised of 28 companies, Vestel Group is a multi-industry manufacturer that operates in consumer electronics, home appliances, professional displays, LED lighting, and EV Chargers. Testimony to the global importance of Zorlu Holding across multiple technology sectors, Vestel is not oly thriving at home in Turkey, but also through a further 10 subsidiaries that have been set up in various other parts of the world. Thanks to its renowned manufacturing and R&D complex, Vestel exports to 157 countries and keeps its position as a global player.

More information: www.vestelinternational.com

28. May 2020

Ghost games in the Bundesliga and Sports: Why we need to create a digital fan experience

by Tobias Fröhlich

"See Corona as an opportunity" - Many of you probably can't hear this sentence anymore. And I can understand you. If the corona virus were indeed a chance, it would be called a corona chance - not a corona crisis. But we must come to terms with the new normal.

The best and most controversially discussed example: German professional football. In the last two weeks, the clubs of the first and second Bundesliga continued their leagues with games behind closed doors. There has been much discussion about the necessity of continuing, but one thing is certain: it will continue. One decisive factor is however missing: the fans.

During the past two weekends we were able to observe how serious their absence weighs. The game broadcast was reduced to what it actually is: football. No singing, no whistling concerts, no pictures of crowds of people holding each other in their arms after a winning goal in the 90th minute.

And this state of affairs will by no means remain confined to the current season. We're talking about restrictions that will last until the end of the year, maybe even well into next year. Until a vaccine is found, produced and distributed on a large scale.

Sky has responded

The pay-TV channel Sky has already reacted to this: The Munich-based company offers its customers who use the Sky Q or Sky+ receiver fan chants and audience backdrop as a sound option. A top match on Saturday evening was also commented by one fan from each team. And via augmented reality, statistics, graphics and online voting were increasingly integrated.

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This is exactly the right approach. But it is only the tip of the iceberg, because it´s still done by the broadcaster with nearly no influence by the fans. Let's be honest: The corona crisis is currently revealing many gaps that have existed for a long time anyway. People, and especially the younger target groups, are consuming differently nowadays. They want to participate, become a broadcaster themselves and be heard. For many football fans in particular, it is important to make a statement and leave their mark on what is happening. Be it the holding up of the scarf during the club anthem, a choreography when the players run in or the protest against the very unpopular Monday games.

All that is now gone. And I share the concern of the fans that they will lose their voice. That's why we have to compensate for this loss with the digital possibilities available to us. We can offer the fans a new platform, give them back their entertainment and preserve parts of their fan culture. In short, we can create a digital fan experience. Examples:

1. Every game a home game

Each game could be a home game for every fan, with each of them having a fan commentary and a personalised home game backdrop with appropriate fan chants. These are arranged by the fans themselves, just like in a stadium. They alone decide when and what is played. During the course of the match, all the fans of a team could then participate live on TV and decide which fan chant they would like to hear next. They could react to certain game situations with emojis, flags or gifs and exchange information about what is happening. The whole thing would be a similar concept to the popular live streams on Instagram, YouTube or Twitch. It's not without reason that such models are especially popular with young viewers, as they convey a feeling of togetherness, of watching and exchanging together. Once again: This is not the "real deal" you get in the stadium, but the fans can at least get involved digitally and help shape the whole thing.

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2. Together with club legends on the "digital grandstand”

Netflix has demonstrated how to watch movies and series together despite the quarantine with its Party Mode. This model could also be transferred to the Bundesliga experience on TV and even be expanded. What if I could watch the games of my favorite team together with a legendary player or coach? In concrete terms, this would mean that I could follow his facial expressions, reactions and comments live via the picture-in-picture option. Sport 1 has already demonstrated this in the past with its "Fantalk" format. This would be just the next logical step. It would create entirely new marketing options for the clubs. They will need these above all when next season's matches are also held without an audience and they are missing out on a lot of money.

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3. The digital premium package

... that would at least go a little beyond the boundaries of the digital. With such a package, for example, one could cooperate with delivery services to deliver stadium sausage and beer directly to the fans' living rooms. In cooperation with the clubs, the broadcasters could create and play exclusive content for premium users. For example, a match analysis with the coach. The cooperation with the clubs is the real trick for the broadcasters. Because the clubs can provide them with exclusive access to their fans, season ticket and box owners and compensate them for lost income.

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There are no limits to the wealth of ideas in the digital fan experience. But you should always include the fans. As in any other good product development, "Customer Centricity" is the nucleus. But in order to do this, the fans must come out of their sometimes counterproductive antipathy and ask themselves whether they want to give up football for 12 to 18 months or whether they want to help shape it instead. The digital has come to stay: Corona is a green playground where everyone can get involved.

The opportunity lies in the digital

These are only three possibilities for a digital fan experience in football. The decisive factor with all three ideas is that they merely present a possibility, so every viewer is free to choose whether or not to use them.

From a purely sports-journalistic point of view, Sky provides a very good product with its football offering. But fans don't always want that. Sometimes they just want to let go, get emotional and let their passion for football run wild. Of course, this is best done live in the stadium. But if this opportunity is lost, we have to offer them a digital alternative that makes up for it as much as possible.

The corona virus is a catalyst with which we can overcome the digital deficits faster and thus create a completely new user experience on the TV set at home.



The pictures are released for editorial purposes within the scope of reporting, provided the source is named. Picture credits on the picture.

Tobias Fröhlich, Managing Partner, TeraVolt GmbH

Picture credits: TeraVolt 

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About TeraVolt 

TeraVolt GmbH is an owner-managed agency for enhanced TV, based in Hamburg, Germany. Founded in 2006, TeraVolt specializes in the development of pioneering digital TV experiences. The agency provides its customers with tailor-made solutions, from market-specific consultation to the creation and technical implementation of innovative productsIts product portfolio includes services and applications in the areas of Managed Platforms, Enhanced TV, Monetization and OTT. With a headquarter based in Hamburg’s beloved Schanzenviertel, TeraVolt consists of a highly experienced management team and 45 strategy, product and technology experts. https://www.teravolt.tv/en/ 

13. September 2019

Revolution “Datatainment”​: with HbbTV and TV Apps to the next level of sports broadcasting

Tobias Fröhlich, Managing Director of TeraVolt, explains why "Datatainment" is the future of sports broadcasting in linear television and why broadcasters and platforms should keep an eye on this new type of television.

Just as dinosaurs ruled our planet millions of years ago, linear television has dominated the world of moving images for decades. However, a new species has long challenged its supremacy: digital streaming platforms, which offer their viewers content on demand at any time of day and personalized viewing recommendations. So, is linear television moribund and will it die out like dinosaurs once did?

One thing is certain: the more people digitize, the less patience they have to wait for relevant content or actively search for it. At the same time, the amount of information, affirmations and stimuli increases. Linear television must therefore continue to evolve in order to remain attractive for the digital generation. An important step in this direction is "Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV" (HbbTV), i.e. the mixing of linear television and online content. Examples include BBC, France Télévisions and ZDF.

But in times when almost every user leaves a digital footprint, this is no longer enough. Instead, content needs to be personalized and tailored to the audience. So that they can get exactly the sort of content they want, based on their data and viewing habits: "Datatainment" instead of entertainment.

This is exactly what TeraVolt wants to achieve. From our point of view, sports events are predestined for this new kind of TV entertainment. Whether the World Cup, Olympic Games or Super Bowl – sport is a spectacle. Such sport events spark enthusiasm. But they often also lead to over-stimulation. So much happens simultaneously and just one millisecond can be decisive. The amount of live broadcasts of sporting events is a real overload. Almost everything can be watched live on various platforms. For each sport there is a stream, a TV format or a live ticker. Some viewers can be overwhelmed by this. They need orientation, filtering according to personal relevance and guidance: They want to follow their favourite athletes in their preferred sport and at best get additional information and statistics – and all that at best without being active themselves. In case of doubt, a video alert can be used to draw attention to a decisive scene and a personal highlight ticker can then be used to quickly capture what has happened so far.

This is precisely the idea we are pursuing. We are currently developing an TV app that will offer TV viewers the "datatainment" described above at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. It will be available for HbbTV, Metrological, AndroidTV as well as for mobile clients. The nationality of the viewer or his or her preferences for sports will then have a decisive influence on which programme recommendations he or she receives and on which athletes the focus lies.

A cycling fan from Sweden, for example, doesn't just see a cycling race. Instead, the focus is on the Swedish cyclist Jenny Rissveds. A fold-out live ticker provides precise details about the course of the race to date. And if another competition of relevance to him starts at the same time, not only a reminder draws his attention to it, but the viewer can also switch on a second livestream via a picture-in-picture function. For instance, another Swede is fighting for silver in a clay pigeon shooting. The viewer switches to the decision and can very quickly see the two to three most important attempts of the opponents so far, to understand what must be achieved now. Cycling always remains in view.

The spectator can get into the sport so much deeper than it has been possible so far. The TV screen transforms into a kind of XXL smartphone. All data, statistics and intermediate results in other competitions additionally can be called up on the live screen. The information the user up until now used to access on the smartphone as a second screen, can then be seen bundled on one and the same screen. All the disadvantages that make linear television inflexible and obsolete for the viewer can thus be eliminated.

This creates a win-win situation. The viewer gets the content that interests him, including highlights, statistics and personalized program suggestions, and the channel can thus keep its viewers happy and loyal. In order to harness this effect, large broadcasters and platforms must drive the development of linear television away from pure entertainment towards "Datatainment".

The dinosaur among the audiovisual media can very well escape the natural selection of the market and therewith its extinction. It only has to adapt continuously to changing conditions. To conclude with a quote from the British naturalist Charles Darwin: "Natural selection ensures that the strongest or the best able to adapt always survive".

We can help the established players to make the necessary adjustments.