Spotting the potential for enhanced sports subscription services in the modern world, many content providers and broadcasters have entered the race to become the 'Netflix of sports' - the buzz phrase of the moment.
The world of sports streaming is thriving, with engaged fanbases for a multitude tuning in online to enjoy their favorite game, team or event.
Is 'Netflix of sports' on its way?
The popular term 'Netflix of sports' has been used in reference to almost any streaming service that delivers a range of live or on-demand sports video content (or both) direct to consumers via the World Wide Web.
That said, despite recent rumblings, a quick glance across the global sporting landscape will show you that a standalone service offering content like this on an a la carte basis, operating across almost every global market - as Netflix does - is nowhere to be seen.
It appears as if the reason boils down to the current landscape. With broadcasting circumstances differing hugely between countries and a significant increase in the cost rights, many players are penalized from broadening their services.
Throw a fragmented sports entertainment sector into the mix, coupled with the fact that certain rights holders across the globe have launched their own OTT services to meet their target audience on a direct basis, and you have a real challenge on your hands.
Another slight snag or roadblock lies in content delivery - the technical side of things. While SVoD delivery is largely a back-end challenge, as sports often require live streams of exceptional quality, many providers are struggling to achieve the level of user experience that today’s digital audiences require.
Global demand for sports subscriptions increases
But, despite these challenges, innovative minds and evolving technologies will always find a way to prevail, and as 37% of sports fans state they would buy a product or service simply for the experience of being part of the community built around it, finding sustainable solutions would prove very profitable indeed.
On a global scale, 75% of sports fans are watching sports coverage or highlights online every month, as the new GWI survey shows. Looking at the geographic split, the Americas and APAC show more encouraging numbers compared to Europe. We can see a correlation of cord-cutters emergence and interest in online subscriptions, but we cannot neglect the varying cost of pay TV packages as a key factor.
Become the 'Netflix of sports', and you will reap the endless rewards of long-term SVoD success. It's all to play for - so dive on in.
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