Broadcasters have experienced a dearth of live sports with the suspension of operations by professional sports organizations during the coronavirus pandemic. That absence has raised expectations for the upcoming return of the National Football League, whose regular season last year was responsible for 47 of the 50 most-viewed telecasts, according to researcher Nielsen.

Rita Ferro, president of Disney Advertising Sales, is keeping a close eye on news developments for sports, with network brands that include ABC, ESPN, Freeform, FX Networks, Hulu and National Geographic. In this episode of the Beet TV/VAB “TV Reset” forum, Ferro discusses the possibilities for innovation in sports broadcasting that will be meaningful for fans and advertisers.

Speaking to Bill Koenigsberg, the president, CEO and founder of media services agency Horizon Media Inc., Ferro said she sees more opportunity to provide “second-screening” experiences to fans who use their smartphones and tablets while watching games on TV. Second-screening is likely to be more important to fans who preventing from attending games at stadiums, but still want to share the experience of watching their favorite teams.

“Even if they allow some fans in, it’s never going to be the full, packed, sold-out stadium and the energy that that brings to a game, and yet you can create so much of that,” Ferro said. She cited the coverage of this year’s NFL Draft of college players, which this year was a virtual event consisting of 200 live video feeds from across the country.

“There was a tremendous engagement around that property, and it was the biggest NFL Draft of all time because it was covered differently and relevant for the times,” she said. “It’s opened our eyes to ways you can do things very differently than before.”

You are watching TV Reset, a leadership forum produced in partnership with VAB.  The series is presented by 605 and Magnite. For more videos please visit this page.