What Does the Future Hold for SVOD Sports Broadcasting?

Benedicte Guichard | Wed Jul 06 2016 | Industry insights

Sports TV viewing

In this modern world, people enjoy freedom and flexibility, rather than rigid programming schedules and big dusty television sets alone; however, while SVOD is on the rise, it still seems that there is a place for traditional TV sports broadcasters.

Europe fuels sports SVOD growth

SVOD services play a huge part in the world of sports entertainment, but research suggests that they serve as a complement to traditional pay TV services rather than a replacement, especially in Europe. According to EBU’s Media Intelligence Service, subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) subscribers in Europe grew 56% last year and are expected to reach 50 million homes by 2020.

SVOD in sports is growing fast, but it accounts for around less than two percent of the European pay TV market, and an even smaller share of total TV revenue in the continent. 

But, according to OVUM's insider Rob Gallagher, younger European video consumers consider sports-on-TV less important than those in the 45 - 54 age bracket; kids under 15 don't consider sports essential to their viewing needs at all.

And this chart shows the impact of SVOD, skinny bundles, day-passes, etc. over a steady period - a clear cut sign that each medium is steadily thriving and that broadcaster based SVOD services lead the pack in terms of popularity:

So what does the future hold for SVOD and sports broadcasting?

Well, to thrive in an ever-growing and in-demand market, content providers will have to consider deploying a content distribution network to handle growing subscriber bases and maintain their quality of service.

Another important factor is SVOD sports providers must think about to ensure long-term success is language, especially in the European market. Most major broadcasters' licences are largely centred around English language-based content. By diversifying the range of language accessibility regarding commentary, dubbing and subtitles, a broadcaster can yield greater loyalty and command a greater reach.

In recent years, many pay-TV companies such as Sky have launched their SVOD services (Sky Go), blurring the lines between video streaming and traditional television offerings - and providers like Netflix have wised up by allowing their services to be distributed via these channels. It appears that on the whole, the focus is on quality content, and when it comes to sport, the event, as well as the user experience, is king.

As things evolve, so will the way in which sports broadcasters monetize their content online, as the graph shows:

The world of sports entertainment is getting more exciting every single day, and so is the way we watch it. To secure a place in the future, SVOD companies will have to revolutionise the ways they offer sports fans content, while maintaining strong relationships with key broadcasters and maintaining a top-notch consumer experience. 

Sounds simple enough, doesn't it?

Learn more on how an SVOD service can help you broadcast online:

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