Sports Viewership is Slowly Moving Away From TV

Dimitar Serafimov | Wed Oct 25 2017 | Industry insights

Live sports moves to streaming

If you asked a sports broadcasting expert if they ever thought sporting events would start to migrate from traditional TV just under a decade ago, you'd probably have been laughed out of the room. But, nowadays, this prospect is becoming a reality.

New report points to a couple of cool trends

According to a study from Adobe and TDG, sports viewership is running over to online mediums at an incredible rate with 37% of sports fans currently watching live sport on non-TV devices in the US alone. What's more, the same report discovered that over one-quarter of overall television time is devoted to live sports - that's a big piece of the entertainment pie.

But what's really interesting is despite this mass migration and the popularity of online sports, free streaming services are struggling with fan awareness. In fact, only 50% of live sports viewers are familiar with the free streaming apps provided by their pay TV service, and only 21% currently using these services.

In addition to this, another key insight from the report comes in the form of advertising. On the whole, live sports viewers don't favor advertising, with 29% of respondents spending more time watching a game if there are fewer ads. It seems that fewer ads and more personalization are the winning combo for winning over the loyalty of sports fans.

Speaking on the current state of sports entertainment, Adobe Primetime's director of product marketing, Campbell Foster said:

“What we have seen is that the walls between (broadcast) TV and digital TV are breaking down; it will become a meaningless distinction.”

Dedicated OTT services are showing competitive strength and agility

It's clear that sports entertainment is moving in a whole new direction. With today's viewers migrating away from pay-TV in their masses and running into the arms of new digital platforms, a wide range of forces has started to offer video services directly to the end consumer through the internet.

From leagues and federations to individual clubs, many sporting organisations have come to the understanding that operating a dedicated OTT service opens up a host of benefits, giving them the power to create more value from their rights, obtain more first-hand user data, and enhance the user experience of their fans by harnessing the power of cutting-edge technologies

Keeping up with the incredible pace of developments within the realms of OTT can prove challenging. New players are competing with the bigger players in sports broadcasting, gaining a competitive advantage by focusing on niche sports or underserved demographics.

As the worlds of OTT and broadcasting collide, media companies and long-standing telcos have started to take a new approach to customer proposition, developing a rich and seamless experience for viewers across a multitude of devices.

Online viewing mediums have revolutionized the world of sports entertainment and as providers, as well as broadcasters, continue to evolve with the changes, it wouldn’t be a far-fetched notion that in another half a decade, sports events will have fully migrated online.

Learn more about the developments in sports OTT broadcasting:

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