12 big features we want in Kayo Sports in 2020
Existing Kayo Sports features and our predicted 2020 additions
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Australia's newest live sports streaming app Kayo Sports has a big 2020 planned with some new features set to be added throughout the year and improvements on existing ones.
Kayo Sports looks like that it has changed the way we Australians watch live sport forever. The live sports streaming app only officially launched on 29 November 2018 and it sure hit the ground running.
Providing viewers with over 50-plus sports available on the service, it's turned into a one-stop shop. For those fresh to the news, we have an extensive review available and a detailed FAQ you can dive into to learn more.
Needless to say, Kayo Sports – a sister product to Foxtel, sharing the same broadcast rights but built and maintained by a separate company – offers a dream experience for sports fans.
With a $25 price point and a 14-day free trial, it offers the best bang for buck on the market. But it also offers more than just a streaming service. As well as the sheer portability of the service the amount of devices is strong too. Kayo runs in browsers, on iOS and Android mobiles and tablets, Apple TV, Telstra TV, Android TV, Sony Bravia TV, Samsung TV, AirPlay and Chromecast.
There's a number of sport-specific experiences that can't be found anywhere else.
Kayo Sports existing features
SplitView is awesome for the sports fanatic. Given how many different sports Kayo has on offer you're bound to get an overlap at some point, which is where SplitView comes in handy. This feature lets you watch up to four different sports at once.
Viewers are given the ability to stagger their screen. This can be done either through splitscreen, staggering windows at different sizes or just watching all four sports equal size on a screen.
2. No Spoilers!
Kayo understands that sometimes people get held up doing the groceries, stuck in traffic or have an event on. The one thing all of these have in common is that it could keep you away from the tele and missing out on sport.
To overcome this there's No Spoilers, which by simply turning on will ensure that you won't have the score shown to you. So whether you're watching on replay or just missed the start you'll feel like you're watching live. There's another feature that ties in with this later.
3. Key Moments Timeline
The Key Moments Timeline is fairly self-explanatory. When you're watching a sport and you go down to the timeline you'll notice some boxes pop up across it. These indicate a Key Moment. If you're watching a game of NRL this could be a try, a goal in football or AFL and something like a wicket in the cricket.
RaceView on Kayo isn't designed for horse racing and is exclusively for motorsport. RaceView is a brand new way for viewers to experience motorsport. It gives you alternate camera angles for the V8 Supercars, Formula One and Moto GP.
Essentially RaceView gives you entry into the cabin of a race car or bike. You can watch from a Co-Pilot view, other Onboard Cameras, Heli-View (select races only) or from Race Centre (which includes some Interactive Stats).
5. Interactive Stats
Interactive Stats allows you to really start to watch sport your own way. Whether it's a try, possessions, penalties or runs, they'll help you realise if a player is either passing or failing your eye test.
6. Kayo Minis
Kayo Minis are yet another feature designed mainly for those who missed an event . What they do is condense a game right up to about 15–20 minutes, acting as an extra extended highlights package. That way you get a deeper insight into the game compared to just the regular three-minute highlights package.
You could also use these to follow sporting codes you enjoy, but don't have the time to watch each week.
7. Alternate camera angles
Now not all sports are on offer, but some have alternate camera angles. These are different from RaceView as they don't offer as much interactiveness. The cricket is the main one that comes to mind. Australia's Test matches can be watched from the Toyota Flying Fox, which is really the Spidercam.
8. Video speed
If you've ever thought you can put together a better sports broadcast than the real producers do then this one's for you. Kayo allows you to watch programming in one of four speeds. These include slo-mo, normal, 1.5x and 2x speeds.
So if you have a bone to pick with VAR or the bunker take control yourself and slow things down. Alternatively if you're trying to catch up yet again speed the game up.
9. From Start
Tying in with the No Spoilers! feature is the ability to watch From Start. No Spoilers! ensures that you won't have seen the score, but watch From Start allows you to go back to the beginning while the event is live. You can then catch up by fast-forwarding or watching in 2x speed.
Late last year Kayo introduced a Fixtures tab. Now into the start of 2020 Fixtures is still in beta mode. Given that this has now dragged on for a few months, we're expecting it to go completely live soon.
While 2019 saw many of these features added this still just feels like the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty more features coming in 2020, both confirmed and some that we're speculating but what are they?
New features we want Kayo Sports to add in 2020
This roadmap of upcoming features isn't entirely official and can only be considered speculation on our part at this point in time. But from our time spent intimately exploring the product, these are some of the experiences we predict will be coming to Kayo Sports and live sports streaming in the future.
Will they all come out in 2020? We do know that Kayo Sports is expecting to continue to build out its services quickly so it's definitely possible.
1. Interactive Stats improvement
Any self-respecting sports fan knows that the game is in the stats. It's important for Kayo Sports that you don't go outside the experience in the hunt for stats. Not just live stats from the game you are watching, but historical data that can improve the viewing experience. How many runs has this guy got in domestic cricket? How many tries has this Queenslander scored? Which club has had the most peptides?
You get the gist. While 2019 saw Interactive Stats arrive on Kayo Sports, 2020 is where it can go further, by incorporating all of the Fox Lab data.
2. Fantasy sports
It's a big part of the game now for many sports fans and if you told us you had never cheered on a player you dislike simply for the fantasy points, we'd call you a liar. Managing, following and comparing your fantasy team's successes and failures within the Kayo Sports experience is a 2020 feature we hope to see.
If included, it's highly likely this feature will be linked to the fantasy sports experiences tied to Fox Sports, which is SuperCoach. So, if you currently indulge in an alternative fantasy competition, you may miss out on the fun with this one. Will this feature launch in time for the winter sports season? Fingers crossed!
3. More Kayo Sports original content
We've started to see the first dabble in original content already on Kayo Sports – look at the mini-game highlights packages, for example. However, this feature thus far relies on repackaging existing footage. It's not original content. Though with the launch now complete and money flooding in from sports fans across Australia, we expect some of those funds to be reinvested into original programming.
Content that can further set Kayo Sports apart. Content that didn't originate on Foxtel, Fox Sports or any other channel. We aren't asking for an ESPN 30 for 30, but it's the same idea. Even Amazon Prime Video has a doco on the Australian Test team coming out.
If this comes to fruition, it will be interesting to see if the love goes both ways. Will Kayo Sports original programming be available to air through Foxtel? Or will it remain Kayo Sports exclusive content? We suspect it will be the former, because, you know, Kayo kind of owes Foxtel a big one.
4. More platforms coming to Kayo
This one isn't too big a secret, but it is expected to be a 2020 proposition. Currently, we have browsers, Android TV, Sony Bravia TV, Chromecast, Apple TV, Telstra TV, Android TV, AirPlay, iOS and Android on the Kayo Sports platform list.
Sony Bravia TV and Android TV were the two big ones introduced last year and we expect a continued push to add more smart TVs.
Ever since Kayo launched it had been pushing that it will be on gaming consoles. Yet Kayo still isn't around on any consoles.
We've been told by Kayo to keep an eye out for the PS4 specifically to arrive soon. Microsoft's Xbox One was still in the pipeline too, but it sounds like it'll be after Sony's PlayStation.
Though given that Kayo is still on neither console, maybe viewers will now be made to wait for an app until the new platforms the Xbox Series X and PS5 come in November.
5. Kayo home broadband and mobile broadband plans
While it's a bit complicated understanding the relationship between Foxtel, Kayo Sports and Telstra, these three sister companies are all part of the one larger empire. Given that Telstra is Australia's biggest telco, offering home and mobile broadband plans for just about every use case, a Telstra-Kayo broadband bundle just makes sense.
Telstra allows you to add Kayo onto the same bill as your mobile plan, which might be a nice way to hide the cost from your boss, but it isn't a saving. We want a saving. A discount. And we expect it to happen. We expect to see Kayo Sports tiered plans, which include large amounts of data and high-speed allowances, with Kayo Sports bundled into the price at a discounted rate.
6. In-app chat
As mentioned before, Kayo Sports, like any brand, doesn't want to give you any excuse for turning off the app. When you're streaming live sport, it's often fun to be able to banter with others watching the same experience. This could be on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit or the sport's official homepage.
In 2020, Kayo Sports would be wise to launch an in-app chat service that allows you to have that experience without heading outside of your live sport. How that could work is unknown. Could it be an old-school forum style experience? Or will it be more like WhatsApp, where you can engage directly with individuals, in private groups or in public groups, with like-minded sports fans?
7. Viewer gamification rewards program
We're all, every one of us, well aware that when it comes to our favourite sport, we know more than everyone else in the pub. Kayo Sports may be able to help you prove it. Like most modern services, we anticipate the Kayo Sports viewing experience will be gamified in the future, attaching a points system to your viewing habits and app interactions.
On the surface this may allow two friends to compare their love of sport in a new, unique way. But it could also allow Kayo to dive into the idea of giving meaningful rewards for its biggest fans. Sharing sports shows, setting up notifications, posting comments and watching full games are just some of the ways you could be rewarded with points.
Upon reaching certain milestones, we could imagine you receiving credit on your account, VIP access to new features, cheap tickets to games or merchandise and other such bonuses.
8. More channels
At the moment, live sports on Kayo Sports mirrors the experience offered on Foxtel, almost. You get the eight Fox Sports channels, three beIN SPORTS channels, two ESPN channels and Racing.com.
Already announced, but yet to be fully utilised, is a partnership with Red Bull TV. Missing Foxtel channels from Sky Sports could hopefully join the mix in 2020 too. If there was an option to include Sky Racing, maybe even pubs could consider Kayo.
We also just yearn for something else, like channels from all over the world that could be partnered with and aired through Kayo Sports. If you're going to be the "Netflix of sport", a huge library of options is expected, which means you need more than Foxtel.
9. A full fixtures/TV guide
There's a Fixtures tab that has been in beta mode on Kayo for a while. While it shows off the main highlights, most people would be aware that they're already on or see them in the Today on Kayo section.
Though what it really needs is a full TV guide. Right now no shows are promoted, just specific matches and it misses many leagues from around the world. More original content from Kayo can play into this as well. Sprinkling these into the Fixtures section would likely increase awareness of these programs, which could improve ratings.
10. Choose Your Own Camera mode realised
One of the more exciting features originally touted by Kayo Sports was the Choose Your Own Camera mode. The theory being that the user, rather than the broadcaster, could toggle between the camera angles and choose the one they desire. However, this has yet to be fully realised.
In 2020, hopefully this feature will get off the ground in all its glory. Imagine watching a rugby league game and being able to go into splitscreen mode, with the main camera on one screen and the referee's camera showing on the other. Or being able to choose to watch an entire Nathan Lyon over from stump cam.
11. Better customisation options
If Kayo Sports goes down the route of fantasy sports, gamification and more, the entire app will need to be intimately linked to the viewer's profile. As part of this, we can expect to see a more robust suite of customisation options. The UI is designed in such a way it could easily adapt to deeper viewer preferences: surfacing sports you want to watch to the top and showing them in a way you desire.
We would hope to be able to choose a "loadout", where the UI jumps straight to the set-up you like for each particular sport. We also hope that we can do more with the notification system outside of just app alerts on your phone.
For example, can we be notified if any rugby league game gets to the last 10 minutes and there is under 6 points between the teams? Or be notified if any Big Bash T20 cricket match comes down to the last few overs?
12. Kayo Sports overseas
The one area where Netflix really managed to blow the competition out of the water was by unifying the entertainment streaming experience across borders. It's not an identical experience in each country, but as each licence comes up for renewal, it's getting closer to that end goal.
In sport, the water is even muddier. Tackling the global broadcast rights for every sport is like stepping into quicksand, the harder you search the more you drown. But you'd have to think being able to access Kayo Sports from overseas would be the number one request from members. But how could it be done?
Perhaps if Kayo Sports can find a way to partner with similar services overseas or buy up the rights in such a way that members can transition between countries without missing out on their sport, it could work. Or give a cut to local rights holders? We'll be honest though; while a desirable outcome, such lofty goals are too big to squeeze into 2020 we fear.
Image source: Kayo Sports website
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