Users Love Pay-per-View Sports on Mobile

Benedicte Guichard | Mon Oct 24 2016 | Industry insights

Sports online subscriptions
Viewers are now in complete control of how they want to watch entertainment. New technologies has drastically shifted traditional programming and how it is served to viewers. Let's see how the developments in mobile technologies have impacted the pay-per-view sports consumption.

Even though big OTT providers like Netflix and Hulu have created an on-demand buzz, live video has been a focal point for fans, especially sports fans.

Watching sports on mobile becomes mainstream

End users have always craved for quality video content. But now, with the surge of mobile devices, smart TVs and virtual reality, the boundaries are shifted drastically and broadcasters have a very complex job in guaranteeing quality on every device used out there.

And the fact that viewers expect a television-like experience while watching video on every device, does not help publishers. Users are used to turning on the TV and enjoy an HD-quality video stream, in real time. Achieving this in a fragmented online world is most challenging because the broadcaster can not control the device, the operating system, or the quality of the broadband connection.

The trend of decreasing screen sizes for watching premium video is becoming pretty obvious. Our analytics numbers of live pay-per-view events that we manage to show an incredible 25% of viewers that use a screen size of 360 x 640 pixels.

All of the three biggest live sporting events that were distributed with Cleeng recorded over 50% usage of mobile devices. 

Those games were the Chivas - Monterrey football match (60%), the Canelo - Smith boxing fight (71%) and Canelo - Khan fight (54%), both organized by Golden Boy Promotions.

Last 3 big pay-per-view events organized by Cleeng recorded over 50% mobile usage Figure 1: Last 3 big pay-per-view events organized by Cleeng recorded over 50% mobile usage

The following stats from our OVP partner Livestream only confirm the statement above.


Live Video Playbook by Livestream Figure 2: International reach and mobile coverage | Source: Live Video Playbook by Livestream

Opportunities arise for pay-per-view providers

Looking at the Livestream stats, we can draw a conclusion that today's viewers are on-the-go and love to watch sports on their mobile device.

This phenomenon unlocks big opportunities to live broadcasters, if they embrace mobile and internationalization in their strategies:

  • Reach the on-the-go millennials: The new lifestyle of today unveils new opportunities for pay-per-view providers to reach fans, as the format fits cohesively into mobile platforms.
  • Expand geographically and extend reach: Mobile also allows for pay-per-view events to go global, because digital efforts are instantly worldwide. The capabilities of the web does not restrict where content is delivered.

This allows pay-per-view providers to go direct-to-consumer in the most pure form. Mobile PPV gives providers an opportunity to drastically improve reach, not just because of ubiquity of mobile devices but because of their omnipresence. People are getting used to watch premium, TV-esque content away from home, and they don't mind paying for pay-per-view.

The uncertainty that mobile technology carried affected the viewer's decision to pay, since mobile was regarded as less safe for purchasing. But nowadays, the context is changed. In 2014, mobile commerce grew by 47 percent and according to Gartner, revenue from mobile commerce will equal 50 percent of all digital commerce in the United States by 2017. The trust that Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, PayPal and a variety of other protective payment services have established, makes users to be more comfortable paying through mobile.

Find out why sport broadcasters are going direct-to-consumers:

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