Sportway announces partnership with Finnish Ice Hockey Association, expanding largest AI sports production network in northern Europe with an additional 70 arenas

23.04.2021

Finnish Ice Hockey Association Builds Upon Trial Use of State-of-the-Art Production Systems to Deliver Streaming Access Next Season, Providing Clubs Unprecedented Production Value for Lower-Tier, Junior and Women's League Play

Stockholm (23 April 2021) - Sportway and the Finnish Ice Hockey Association (FIHA) have announced a partnership to install AI camera systems in 70 arenas across Finland, which is now Sportway's second largest market to utilize its state-of-the-art artificial intelligence (AI) production capabilities. These facilities will now feature seamless live streaming for all games, including men's and women's lower-tier leagues, as well as youth hockey for the FIHA. Furthermore, teams will be equipped with Sportway's state-of-the-art coaching tool, the Team Account, to accelerate player development through data analysis and video coaching.

Building off the momentum of recently announced partnerships in Sweden and Norway, Finland further expands Sportway's growth of the largest AI sports production network in Northern Europe with plans to optimize more than 300 facilities. Sportway's production services will provide FIHA clubs with high-quality live streaming for its entire portfolio of leagues, after last season's successful trial use of the technology at five arenas.

"We feel honored to be chosen by FIHA as its production partner within this groundbreaking project for Finnish ice hockey. Working with the Finnish Ice Hockey Association is emblematic of our commitment to delivering a premium viewer experience and providing more opportunities for clubs to connect with their loyal members, fans, and supporters. Last season, we successfully incorporated enhancements with graphic overlays, Team Account and our Situation Room capabilities with a few participating clubs in Finland, which allowed us to elevate the fan experience and make these production aspects foundational to this coming season's offerings," said Daniel Franck, CEO, Sportway.

"This partnership with Sportway is an important piece of the puzzle of fulfilling our purpose to add value to our members lives through ice hockey. Offering access to valuable game footage and data, creates a community that is not only entertaining for the fans, but also developing for our players through Sportway's coaching tool, the Team Account. By making more ice hockey available for everyone, Leijonat.tv becomes the home for interested parties to engage, follow and watch our federation's games" said Matti Nurminen, CEO, FIHA.

The partnership between FIHA and Sportway was facilitated by company Commercial Sports Media (CSM), a shareholder in Sportway. "CSM previously assisted FIHA in its domestic media rights negotiations for the 2020/2021-2025/2026 rights cycle, and with the partnership with Sportway we believe that FIHA will be well-positioned to drive the digital- and sporting development of ice hockey in Finland", said Anders Wistrand, Founding Partner, CSM.

Sportway is an industry leader in delivering automated video and data productions using AI to film, produce and broadcast live games, ensuring premium content on a personal level for players, families, and fans. Together with their industry-leading AI live production partner, Live Arena, Sportway's video productions are driven by an algorithm specially developed for ice hockey games. All of the action is captured using Sportway's fixed, unmanned cameras, which create a panoramic view of the entire rink. The patented AI technology then automatically follows the game by panning and zooming in on key action, providing a professional viewing experience. The technology can also be linked with the Finnish Ice Hockey Associations' database and game statistics to automatically generate real-time graphics, as well as replays and post-game highlights.

Sportway's Comprehensive Portfolio of Enhanced Features

As the industry leader in AI-production systems for sports, Sportway provides end-to-end, fully automated video production of live events and advises federations, leagues, and clubs from any sport on how to maximize the potential of their product, including how to produce, market and monetize their media content.

  • Virtual Director - AI-driven production solution to film, produce, and broadcast an unlimited amount of games at installed facilities. Sportway's Virtual Director is a fully automated, unmanned production technology that has been developed and refined since 2017 to ensure high-quality coverage of any game.
  • Team Account - To accelerate player development, optimize practice effectiveness and improve team performance, Sportway's Team Account tool allow coaches to draw directly on video streams for player feedback; tag critical events like shots on goal, giveaways or face offs for analysis; and utilize video technology to modernize their everyday practice prep.
  • Player Account - Users have their own video archive of achievements and to document skill development journey. Full games, highlights and clips can be edited and shared, either as social media posts for friends and families or highlight reels to showcase a player's skill for scouts, schools and coaches.
  • Situation Room - In an effort to support athlete safety and the integrity of the sport, Sportway's Situation Room provides high-res video of the entire playing surface, regardless of the action. Using joystick software, officials can scroll through video, zoom, and replay any situation in need of analysis, as well as edit clips to be shared with external parties or integrated within Microsoft Teams for real-time discussions. SIHF partnered on workshops this off-season with 400 clubs and referees to introduce the system's capabilities for game analysis, player development and disciplinary matters.

Sportway will expand production systems across Sweden, Norway, and Finland, with expansion planned across a wide spectrum of sports including basketball, volleyball, floorball, handball, and other indoor sports. Sportway strives to bring the power of live and on-demand video streaming to sports organizations everywhere, in order to ensure that all sports, on all levels, are available for everyone. These innovative production systems backed by Sportway's scalable business model help unlock a variety of benefits for participating federations, leagues and clubs, including additional revenue streams via subscriptions or pay-per-view monetization opportunities.

For more information, go to Sportway.com.