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How Dutch NDC will  cover 60,000 regional football matches...

NDC-collage-optimised...with no impact to newsroom time or resources.

Dutch regional media group NDC is planning to up its game when the first post-Covid football season kicks off after summer by deploying automated reporting.

The publisher’s reader promise: to cover every single local match for the entirety of the season. That’s 60,000 football games – a commitment far beyond the capacity of the newsroom. The solution: robots will write the match reports, while photos and comments from coaches will be collected through a crowdsourcing platform. The result: NDC will offer unique local journalism which will give local communities – teams, players, coaches and fans – a stake in the sports reporting. The engagement generated will underpin the publisher’s reader revenue business.

Says NDC Sport Product Manager Ard Boer: “Thanks to automated journalism, we’re able to write about every single local football match, coverage that’s not provided by anyone else. That, combined with the crowdsourcing element, will drive inclusivity and engagement in the local sports communities, and by extension create value in our news brand.

NDC will all the local/regional football in the northern regions of Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe, an area totaling roughly 1.5 million inhabitants. "Football is huge in the Netherlands," says Ard Boer. "In a country of 17 million, 1 million are members of a football club. For a regional publisher like us, being able to cover all matches of all division is engagement gold." 

The automated match reports will be published in NDC's two major daily titles – Leeuwarder Courant ( for the region of Friesland and Dagblad van het Noorden ( for the regions Drenthe and Groningen.

The auto-generated article left is from NDC's live test project last year (junior matches played, but with no spectators).


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