What if ... new ways to create and deliver content change not only the media but the business of sports?
Fly Half with a Cool Billion; How Women’s Rugby Took Over the World
TimeMachine (TM) doesn’t actually stop time during play; it just seems like it. Top player Eve Mooney sets up a pass and time stops for the viewer. Will the centre pick it up or fumble it? Will the line-out go to the All Blacks? TM’s AI pauses the stream and gives you a 360-degree view. You put a few cent on. The game restarts and you find out if you won. With realtime betting, you’re part of the drama.
Developed by two of the world’s top three media conglomerates, TM has changed sport as we know it, and now plays on devices held by 70% of the globe. But global media consolidation only explains so much. Why is TM rugby so addictive?
Sports Narratologist Anthony McDowell, who helped programme TM’s AI, explains why rugby dominates world sport; “Rugby was always a tactical game, but too fast. Set-pieces like scrums and line-outs pause the passing game and have a fixed number of outcomes, perfect for betting. TM ups the suspense and the stakes. You don’t get that in football. That’s why it’s dying”.
So why, of all the sports and cultures in the world, is women’s rugby at the top?
Mooney, the best-paid player in the world, has the answer.
“Money. TM means rugby makes more than all other sports combined. So that’s where the talent goes. And why women? The guys are too big. You can’t see the ball. Plus, they don’t think ahead so much. We always have, so it’s fun to bet on what plays I’m setting up, see if you can outthink me”.
Few spectators attend stadiums, now basically massive Faraday cages that lock down devices so you can’t communicate the results ahead of TM. And who would have predicted that the world’s biggest media groups, and not a state, got quantum cryptography working to protect its "live"-streams?
This story shows us how the Internet might evolve. But the path we take is up to us.