BT seeks start-ups to innovate around sports fan engagement

The competition's previous winner Seenit has had its tech appear on the Premier League Tonight show
The competition's previous winner Seenit has had its tech appear on the Premier League Tonight show

BT is seeking entrepreneurs and start-ups to help it innovate around fan engagement and bringing viewers closer to the action during its sports coverage.

The telecoms firm is running a BT Infinity Lab competition to find ideas, and the winner will be trialled on BT Sport and could partner with BT on further ideas, original tech and the overall TV viewing experience.

It represents the second time BT Sport has run the BT Infinity Lab competition. The previous winners, crowd-sourced video app Seenit, now plays a recurring role on BT Sport’s Premier League Tonight Show.

The next winner will also receive a six-month membership at flexible workspace company TechHub.

Entries are encouraged to focus on disrupting traditional broadcast approaches by capturing in-venue experiences, encouraging interaction between sports fans, making live sports more accessible for impaired viewers, or implementing new technologies such as virtual reality.

The competition is part of BT’s efforts to remain at the cutting edge. BT Sport claims to have been "at the heart of innovation" since launching in 2013.

BT was the first broadcaster to show live content in 4K ultra-HD and the first to adopt Dolby Atmos.

Craig Doyle, presenter at BT Sport, is one of the members of a Dragons Den-style panel, which will interview the shortlisted companies.

Doyle said: "BT Sport has been at the forefront of bringing fans some of the most exciting innovations in broadcasting and digital media.

"Our Premier League coverage has been boosted by last year’s winner and I look forward to seeing how the rest of our sports coverage might benefit from this year’s Infinity Lab Competition winner."

Interested parties are being invited to apply before midday on 13 November.

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