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Amazon to Boost Football Coverage in UK With UEFA Deal

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Amazon.com Inc. has secured rights to broadcast Europe’s top football tournament in the UK for the first time, in a significant step for the tech giant as it pushes deeper into sports.

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(Bloomberg) — Amazon.com Inc. has secured rights to broadcast Europe’s top football tournament in the UK for the first time, in a significant step for the tech giant as it pushes deeper into sports. 

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US-based Amazon will exclusively offer top UEFA Champions League matches on Tuesday nights for three years from the 2024/25 season, it said in a statement Friday that confirmed an earlier Bloomberg News report. 

BT Sport, which most recently held the UCL rights exclusively, will pay roughly £305 million ($368 million) a year to retain the majority of coverage, as well as all games in two other UEFA tournaments, the Europa League and Europa Conference League, it said in a separate statement. The British Broadcasting Corp., meanwhile, said it has bought the rights to show some UCL highlights for the first time.

In total, UEFA has sold the UK media rights at a 20% premium to the previous cycle, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing confidential information. That’s up from Enders Analysis estimates of 1.4 billion euros ($1.5 billion), indicating the new package could be worth around 1.7 billion euros. 

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The deal is a fresh sign that Amazon remains ready to bid for some of the most expensive sports rights to boost demand for its Prime Video platform, having recently opted to pull out of the hotly-contested race to stream Indian Premier League cricket matches. It already broadcasts UCL games in Italy and Germany, as well as live matches from the English Premier League and France’s biggest football competition. 

“This shows that Amazon has found that their dip into the water for some Premier League game rights has been financially beneficial for them,” said Christina Philippou, an academic who specializes in football finance.

In recent years, Amazon has also filmed behind-the-scenes documentaries at top UK football teams, including Manchester City FC, Tottenham Hotspur FC and Arsenal FC, as a way to attract football fans to Prime. Amazon’s UCL fixtures will always feature an English team during the competition’s group stages and, assuming one qualifies, in every round through to the semi-finals.

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“Since 2018, we’ve seen millions of Prime members in the UK enjoy live sport on Prime Video, and it’s that passion and energy that has led us to this exciting next step,” Alex Green, managing director of Prime Video Sport Europe, said in Friday’s statement. 

For BT, the UCL deal secures key rights for the future of its pay-TV unit as a joint venture with US media giant Warner Bros Discovery Inc., a deal which is awaiting UK regulatory approval.

The UCL last year faced the threat of a rival breakaway Super League backed by some of Europe’s biggest football teams. The Super League plan collapsed in a matter of days following fierce backlash from fans and politicians. UEFA subsequently revamped the UCL by increasing the number of teams and matches in a bid to make it a more competitive tournament and prove to clubs that it can generate higher revenue for them.

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National Doctor’s Day 2022: How Doctors see the Growth of Digital Tech in Healthcare?

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By Vikram Thaploo

Among the industries that have been drastically transformed by the pandemic, the healthcare industry has probably changed the most. With advances in technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data, the future of healthcare is taking a new shape right in front of us and making the job easier for doctors. As per McKinsey, innovation driven by technology has the potential to enhance our understanding of patients, allow the delivery of more individualized, convenient care—and create $350-$410 billion in annual revenue by 2025.

As the preference shifts from volume-based care to value-based care and consumer choices change, physicians are quickly aligning themselves with the innovations in technology. They believe that it has the potential to enable better care, save time, foster the relationship with other medical professionals and patients and enhance patient outcomes.

How Doctors Perceive Technology’s Role in Healthcare

According to the Future Health Index (FHI) India Report of 2021, healthcare leaders in India are making an imminent shift towards adopting digital technologies, prioritising remote care and putting into action sustainable healthcare practices. In fact, a Commonwealth Fund/Kaiser Family Foundation poll revealed that 50 per cent of doctors believe that more use of health technology had a positive impact on their ability to provide enhanced care to patients. Here’s how doctors perceive technology’s ability to impact healthcare.

Enhanced Screening and Diagnostic Efficiency

AI is one of the most powerful tools that can completely revolutionise the healthcare industry. It has the ability to scan through medical records, design treatment plans, develop medicines and drugs quicker and also diagnose different conditions. Recently DeepMind artificial intelligence developed by Google helped to analyse breast cancer. Similarly, Apollo Hospitals developed an artificial intelligence-based web tool AICVD Cardiac Risk Score with an efficiency of over 95% to predict and prevent heart diseases. Physicians or doctors are more than eager to use AI in healthcare as they believe that it has the ability to improve diagnostic efficiency. A survey involving 487 pathologists in 54 countries showed that 25.3% of them feel that the diagnostic task could be equally shared between human and AI to provide better outcomes. However, they are of the opinion that patient diagnoses would still be predominantly done by humans and AI can act as a supplemental tool in the process.

Flexibility and Better Care

The pandemic has significantly catapulted the adoption of telemedicine technology in India and has proved to be a viable medium to plug the gaps in the public healthcare system. Looking at the three aspects of telemedicine: namely the impact it has on the quality of healthcare, the amount of time spent with patients and the satisfaction of patients, doctors are excited and eager to adopt this technology. It offers them flexibility and allows them to serve patients in remote areas without the need to travel themselves. A survey of nearly 1,600 healthcare providers showed that almost 70% are motivated to use telemedicine services because of the experiences they’ve had during the pandemic and more than 50% said their outlook has improved due to connected health.

With telemedicine technology, they also have access to a wealth of longitudinal information, from blood pressure readings to biometric data to diet regime, providing them a much broader picture of what happened since the last consultation to inform and personalize continuing care. Most importantly, they believe that virtual care can provide the opportunity to improve outcomes by delivering timely care to patients who might delay it or who live in places with provider shortages.
While most doctors believe that telemedicine will stay providing greater access and convenience, it is through thoughtful engagement and past learning from failures that health systems and telehealth partners can work together to ensure seamless quality and better experience of care at all times.

Improved Performance

In recent years, virtual reality (VR) has become a promising area of science and health research. VR has the capability to transport a physician around and inside the human body, to view and access areas that would traditionally be hard to reach. This, doctors believe can not only enhance their performance but can also serve as a complimentary tool. Laparoscopic surgery, for instance, can be taught using virtual reality, and this type of training can lead to higher accuracy.
Doctors are also of the opinion that VR can serve as a cornerstone of clinical training and it’s best for medical students to be trained through VR tools before attempting real-life operations on patients.

Many doctors feel that this technology has the potential to take the healthcare industry to devise new avenues of treatment and open the doors to new opportunities. Using VR simulations, they are able to experience having certain health conditions or being in specific real-life situations that can make them more engaged with their patients’ requirements and better understand what it’s like to be their patients.

Final Words

While the growing influence of technology in healthcare over the coming years is inevitable, it is the right blend of technology and human interference that can offer the best path to improve efficacy in healthcare delivery, doctors believe.

(The author is CEO, Apollo Telehealth. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of FinancialExpress.com.)

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