The rise of sports streaming and the evolution of OTT technology seem to follow a similar pattern, with this ever-improving medium providing the perfect viewing outlet for sporting events, games and content of all shapes and sizes.
Fans want to pay only for what they follow
OTT opens new possibilities for sports fans that haven't been possible with traditional broadcasts.
Why do young fans pay for OTT video? PwC has some interesting findings from their 2018 survey:
Fans are typically willing to invest more for the content they desire but won’t buy a host of sporting channels. For instance, devoted football fanatics will fork out for a specialist football channel rather than a premium channel that happens to also broadcasts football.
That's why multiple top sports clubs (Juventus, Borussia Dortmund etc.) and leagues (NBA) are launching their OTT platforms. NBA, one of the precursors of sports OTT, is one of the few to keep its digital rights and monetize them throughout the world.
Today's broadcasters want to pay for a specialist service
All these new, advanced capabilities that a modern OTT service should include require solid, compatible and scalable back-end technologies.
As the technology matures and the value of sporting content grows, it appears as if specialist and independent OTT-backend providers are making the best fit for sports at a time when new revenue models are explored, and ROI is the critical metric for any budding provider.
Sports broadcasters understand the importance of each individual component of an OTT service such as:
- subscriber management
- app entitlement
- identity and access management (IAM)
- churn intelligence
- content recommendation etc.
We may well see a rise in independent tech providers due to the flexibility they offer concerning the service improvements with modular OTT products.
The increased role of agencies and intermediaries
As more, direct-to-consumer platforms are expected to emerge, there may well be scope for the intermediaries in the OTT landscape. Essentially, the agents take on the mantle of tech consultants that know best about tackling challenges and understanding what needs to be fixed to enhance OTT strategies and services.
Intermediaries can come from different sides on the vendor spectrum. Yannick Ramcke from OFFTHEFIELDBUSINESS.de points 2 major groups of intermediaries: "sports rights" and "sports programming".
What causes an influx of sports OTT services?
Sports organizations are offering their own brands of direct-to-consumer live platforms, becoming both the broadcaster and operator. And what this means is, we expect to see a great renaissance in online sports as more viewers migrate to digital viewing models.
Low-cost production-based technologies are likely to encourage the production of more sporting content and offer even streaming hours for every type of niche out there, whether it's amateur, lower-tier professional sports, women’s sports, local leagues, club teams, intramural sports, and anything else you can think of for that matter.
The landscape is shifting and we can’t wait to see what happens next in the world of sport and OTT - one thing's for sure, we’ll be reporting on it - so watch this space.