COPA EUROPE aims to address the exploding demand for non-linear, more engaging sports content consumption, globally and without borders, by leveraging OTT sports media services and combining them with a new set of media technologies that will democratise the consumer experience, enable cost-sensitive live video from anywhere, and personalise the distribution to change the experience of each viewer individually. Toward this end, it will setup a decentralised OTT sports media distribution platform, where both the professionals in sports broadcasting, as well as the common sports fans/consumers are at the centre of the decision-making process, specifying the conditions to buy/sell content , while maintaining the option to opt-out at any time. To that end, the envisaged platform will be based on blockchain technology, which carries the potential to solve media production and OTT industry’s long-standing struggles with issues, such as royalty payments, rampant account sharing, copyrights management , and flawed advertising.

Through blockchain, new ground will be covered with respect to flexibility in OTT subscriptions, and hence, a stronger sense of ownership over the content will be supported, allowing customers to take out, cancel , or under various conditions share the content with other subscribers at will. Furthermore, the platform will produce higher quality services in live sports streaming applications in a context-sensitive way towards maximising the Quality-of-Experience and live content availability for each individual user, supporting real time, high quality video contributions from anywhere using cellular and 5G bonding, through a cloud-based transcoding infrastructure.

In addition, COPA EUROPE will allow users to experience personalised content tailored to their preferences and needs, via robust and practical Federated Learning (FL) approaches, allowing European OTT providers to benefit from data network effects (e.g. better products leading to more users, which leads to more data, which is used to train smarter algorithms, and therefore, feedback to better products), so as to translate the expansion of their subscriber base to better quality services, and as a result, higher returns on investment . The proposed shift toward FL-based solutions will improve upon traditional use of AI for recommendation via solutions that use aggregated updates to train algorithms instead of raw data, especially considering benefits gained through data usually not being allowed to be usually transferred to third parties for confidentiality reasons. COPA EUROPE aims to address challenges and limitations regarding communication overheads that currently hinder FL-based approaches to be deployed in real, operational environments that aim to showcase how COPA EUROPE core technologies:

can generate new value for mainstream sports broadcasting actors and consumers, by providing new online strategies and business models for content distribution and consumption, coupled with the provision of more interactive experiences;

how emerging and future broadcasting properties (e.g. eSports) can obtain their own narrative storytelling devices through a collaboration between producers, audiences, technology , and cultural players and thus be successfully put in front of paying subscribers.

The overall concept of COPA EUROPE is illustrated in the following figure: