Automated sports content is transforming how sports media companies think about scaling production and maximizing revenue. All major sports media companies have either incorporated or are currently testing some form of content automation.
What was once thought of as competition to writers has quickly been recognized as the most important requisite to scaling content and expanding market share.
For those starting to research how to integrate content automation, it’s difficult to conceptualize the full potential. So we’re making public a portion of the content we’re creating for clients for the 2020 NBA season.
Why 200k Articles?
We choose 200k because it’s a big number compared to what any company has produced in a single season, but it’s still only a fraction of what’s possible. We, all of us, will chuckle at the modesty of this number in five years.
Let’s See The Numbers
The table below includes standard numbers associated with a typical NBA season. We used this list in our calculations to reach 200k articles.
|15||The number of roster spots per team|
|19||The number of weeks in regular season|
|25||The number of stat categories|
|30||The number of teams in the NBA|
|40||The number of prop bets for each game|
|82||The number of regular season games played by each team|
|450||The number of active NBA players|
|1,230||The number of NBA regular season games|
Getting to 200K+ NBA Articles
Here are 11 article types we’re producing for the NBA season. As you read the list, you’ll realize it isn’t exhaustive; as a matter of fact, you’ll probably be able to come up with 11 unique article types of your own. This is why we think 200k is a modest number.
Some key points to consider as you read the list below:
- Head-to-head comparisons between teams and players make up nearly half of the articles. What once was an impossible scaling exercise can be accomplished (and updated daily) in a fraction of the time.
- It’s now possible to create multiple versions of the same article type. Imagine creating unique game recaps for each fanbase, distribution platform, or fan type (casual vs. data junky).
- As games are played, and new stats are recorded, it’s possible to dynamically update articles and create new ones based on event triggers (winning streak, broken record, new scoring high, etc.).
|2,460||Game Previews||x2 POV|
|1,230||Game Insights||1 Per Game|
|1,230||Betting Insights||1 Per Game|
|49,200||Prop Bets||40 Per Game|
|13,500||Player Performance vs. Opponent||Players x Teams|
|435||Team Comparisons||All Combinations|
|101,025||Player Comparisons||All Combinations|
|2,460||Game Recaps||x2 POV|
|36,900||Player Recaps||Players x Games|
|475||Best 7-Day Performances||25 Stats|
|475||Weekly Stat Leaders||25 Stats|
What Kind of Revenue are We Talking Here?
At the end of the day, if the content you’re producing isn’t driving revenue, it’s not worth the time, effort, or expense. To demonstrate the value of automating content at scale, we’ve put together a small hypothetical scenario below.
As you look at the table, please keep a few things in mind:
- This is only anecdotal. We’ve made conservative assumptions based on feedback from clients.
- The revenue projections only include programmatic-ad estimates. We haven’t included revenue through sponsorships, direct deals, or attribution for referrals to online stores or affiliates.
- Revenue per article is extremely modest <$20. This illustrates the advantageous unit economics of automated content but also demonstrates the revenue potential of leveraging machines to scale production.
|3||Average impression / pageview|
|$4.00||Cost per automated article|
|$19.35||Revenue per automated article|
It’s No Longer a Question Of If Automation
As sports abruptly halted in 2020 due to a global pandemic, the fragility of the sporting world became painfully apparent. Even without live sports automation offers sports media companies a steady production-tool capable of crunchy historic stats to create new and interesting content.
The power and economic advantages of automation are motivating companies to rethink how they produce sports content. Early adopters are shaping how tech companies build automation tools and are subtly directing product road-maps to their competitive advantage.