Fox Sports Teams With IBM AI Tech for Women’s World Cup

LOS ANGELES—Fox Sports is applying artificial intelligence to the beautiful game of soccer for its coverage of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, partnering with IBM to boost its statistical analysis and live-streaming capabilities.

New to its broadcast this year, Fox Sports is featuring a segment called Player Spotlight Built with IBM Watson, which uses Watson’s AI capabilities to generate stat analysis on both individual players and teams for match commentary using a natural language interface. The data is gathered from Opta, a data provider that collects and analyzes every pass, goal and penalty kick in near real time. Commentators can then access the data by entering queries into the navigation function, which will then bring up highlights, data and analytics.

Fox Sports is also utilizing the IBM Aspera livestreaming technology for the Women’s World Cup, as it did for 2018’s men’s tournament. With Aspera, editors in Los Angeles have access to HD camera feeds from France within 10 seconds of live play. New to this year’s production is a real-time auto archiving function that allows raw, high-resolution footage to be stored offsite within seconds after matches are completed. Fox Sports estimates that four to six petabytes of content will be streamed throughout the tournament.

The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup is currently underway in France and will continue through July 7. Team USA’s next game will be on Friday, June 28, at 3 p.m. EST against France.