Sept. 13, 2021 - The first instant replay changed the course of sports forever.
For the Army-Navy football game in 1963, CBS producers took a 1,200-pound videotape machine to Philadelphia's Municipal Stadium with the intent to show the first-ever instant replay. Unfortunately, producers ran into several failed attempts before the final attempt took during the fourth quarter, according to the Denver Post.
The replay showed Army quarterback Rollie Stichweh running for a 1-yard touchdown. To quell confusion during the broadcast, play-by-play announcer Lindsey Nelson shouted to the audience that the Army didn't score again, the video wasn't live.
At the time, the extra clarification might've been needed — but not today.
Today, the +$470 billion sports industry showcases some of the most advanced video production technology in existence — with everything from instant replays and video annotation to augmented and virtual reality.
To deliver a positive fan experience and focus the audience's attention — while ensuring the on-field calls are accurate — video replay and annotation help package up sports content to tell a fuller story that people have come to expect.
Without replays and annotation, the way fans consume live sports content changes substantially. Fans can focus in on details and scrutinize the entirety of a game with slow-motion replays, graphics, illustrations and more, pinpointing where the ball drops or where an athlete's foot fell.
The application and benefit of these technologies expand beyond the sports arena, though. Courtrooms, universities, corporations and operating rooms can take advantage of video annotation technology to improve communication, deliver better presentations and illustrate critical moments captured on live or recorded video.
The Risks of Poor Communication Are Too Great
For sports fans, there are times when you're no longer on the edge of your seat. You stand in front of the TV fixed on the broadcast, waiting for the next play, the next pitch, the next moment.
But, everyone must blink.
Imagine you blink or sneeze during the wrong moment and miss the most critical play. Now imagine not having an instant replay with savvy annotations to help illustrate exactly what happened.
In a word: Devastating.
While announcers would do their best to talk through what happened, giving every detail they can remember while working through their own excitement, would it be enough? Would their account alone tell an accurate enough story? Would it keep fans engaged?
Perhaps not. At least, there would be room for improvement.
Surely, that's part of why professional sports teams keep investing in video production tools. It allows them to continue delivering the best possible fan experience. Without it, the costs might be too great.
Poor communication can have rippling impacts that expand far beyond a missing play. For businesses, the monetary cost can exceed thousands, even millions of dollars on average per year. Some research suggests companies lose $62.4 million per year because of poor communication among employees.
While not new technology, video annotation in particular plays an important role in digital storytelling and presentations — making it most beneficial to people like lawyers presenting to a judge and jury or a coach who must help show in detail the strengths and weaknesses of the team before the next game.
Provide Instant Replay-Like Context
Just like fans see on TV, annotation tools work with live or recorded video to allow broadcasters or video editors to mark up the various frames of a video, rather than a still image.
In the courtroom, lawyers may show video evidence on a touchscreen display that works with video annotation tools to literally circle key elements they want to highlight like they would on a chalkboard. In turn, this would help focus the attention of the courtroom on specific elements.
The same holds true for a coach talking to athletes. Say they're looking at game day footage and want to mark up technique or performance on the field. The coach could draw where the athlete's foot should've landed, and so on.
During instant replays, video annotation tools help point out everything from whether a player was in bound or out or the trajectory of a golf ball. It can help clarify points that might have otherwise been missed while the announcer was speaking or if the focus of the camera wasn't centered on the most critical action.
"I can't imagine watching sports without replay," said former Broncos cornerback Chris Harris in an interview with the Denver Post. "When I watch a game — football, basketball, baseball, whatever — I like to watch it all. Having that instant replay, for people to see and have it explained, is important."
Video Annotation Delivers Greater Clarity to Presentations
Having a visual aid to accompany video helps presenters in courts or sports illustrate important points to the story they're trying to communicate. These technologies help focus the attention of the audience and present a more dynamic story. That's where video annotation technology comes into play.
Williams AV developed video annotation hardware that works with most touchscreen displays to allow presenters to elevate the way they communicate with an audience. Bringing in live video or recorded media, presenters can draw on the touchscreen displays to provide the clearest explanation of what's shown. No matter the application, the common result is clearer communication between presenter and audience.
Find out more about the Annotation Pro.