The Southeastern Conference has made the jump to the big leagues, media-wise: The SEC Network is now in place as the central source for all conference sports coverage.

That’s big news for SEC fans, but arguably even bigger news for school leaders who are having to invest millions in video production and distribution infrastructure to enable this new network:

  • The University of Tennessee is constructing a $10 million studio
  • Auburn’s athletic department dipped into its financial reserves for $5 million control rooms
  • LSU is spending $3 million on cables to connect their video facilities

There are lessons here for organizations outside of Education facing the growth of video in their operations and in their culture:

Live events are in demand

The SEC Network will broadcast 1,000 live events this year. The revenue generated by sports is largely due to the demand for live broadcasts.  It’s true for the corporate world too – your employees want to see what’s happening in your business as it happens.  That’s why so many companies are investing in similar infrastructure for live employee (and client) communications.

Video is democratizing

These investments by schools do more than “enable” the SEC Network – they allow them to broadcast events themselves, independent of the major networks.  At the same time, video technology and skills are bubbling up from the “masses”. The new reality is that most of us will soon be creating and consuming video in our personal and professional lives. These infrastructures will continue to grow to support this shift.

No one is standing still

Video used to be something that happened outside of universities.  Now it has became part and parcel to the success of the schools. And it’s becoming as competitive and the athletic rivalries already in place.

Video is no longer a nice-to-have. Businesses are investing in video as a strategic weapon. It is being used to develop competitive advantages in business agility, user experience, employee engagement and time-to-market.

If you’re not looking at video as a necessity for your business, you might want to check to see if your competitors are doing so for theirs.