Robot journalism results in more sports reporters

With 28 news titles, MittMedia is Sweden’s largest local media group. Financial constraints in an ever tougher media market, over years meant that coverage of local sports was suffering. In 2015 the publisher came up with a solution: automated editorial texts for the wider coverage would free up journalists to do more in-depth reporting. The result: 40% of conversions to paying subscribers now happen through sports content.

The editorial sports team’s strategy was simple: With the Sports bot producing all the pre- and post match texts, reporters could spend their time on more in-depth journalism, more video content plus there would be resources to do more live streamed lower league football.

By letting the Sports bot take care of the routine work in reporting football, ice hockey, floor ball and other team sports, resources in the organisation were freed up for more qualitative work. The result? Not only has MittMedia sport achieved its high goals for better and more modern coverage of local sports. The improved sports coverage has also helped drive conversions to paid subscibers. It turns out sports is the highest converting content of all on MittMedia’s sites. This in turn has meant that – rather than robot journalism reducing the number of reporters – MittMedia has been able to hire additional sports reporters.

Results: From September 2017 to September 2018 the Sports bot generated 41,000 articles and 1.2 million logged-in pageviews (2.5 million pageviews in total), for all MittMedia's news sites.

MittMedia have launched two sports verticals, HockeyPuls and BandyPuls, which thanks to the Sports bot have much broader coverage than would otherwise be possible. 

Other Sports bot results and benefits for MittMedia:

• Significantly higher number of texts
• Comprehensive coverage: the Bot writes about all leagues
• More quality texts, images, videos and live streamings
• Many more women appear in the sports pages
• Reduced freelance costs
• Improved work schedules when the Bot does the leg work.