Finding interesting sports content is not always easy for sports fans. What if streaming was a way around the problem?
Sports clubs, sports leagues and federations… What if the future went through the OTT to broadcast directly your contents to your fans, and to circumvent the problems associated with traditional broadcasters?
The emergence of OTT sports platforms
Until recently, the broadcasting of sports events fell under the televised monopoly, where traditional broadcasters imposed their own rules.
Today, if the French audio-visual landscape welcomes specialized actors like beIN Sports, RMC Sport, the channel L’Equipe or even Eurosport, internet has profoundly changed the uses for fans, and the perspectives for clubs and federations.
The sports rights crisis
In 2018, L’Equipe ended its contract with the National volleyball League (LNV) for the broadcasting of the first division.
In 2020, It is the turn of the National Volleyball League (LNV) to be denied of a traditional national broadcaster.
The non-premium rights owners– volleyball, handball, basketball, tennis, and all the other sports are gradually being neglected by sports channels due to the lack of audience and subscriptions they generate.
The advent of the streaming
The contents consumption has gradually changed in recent years with the advent of streaming platforms. Watching a program on demand has become accessible and within everyone’s reach, anywhere and at anytime on tablet, smartphone or PC.
The figures relating to video contents are compelling, especially with the new generations:
- In France, 42% of Internet users watch at least one online video daily, 87% watch it every month,
- The average user watches approximately 32.3 videos per month,
- The generation Y (born between 1980 and 1995) spends about 24 hours a week watching online videos,
- 64% of young people under the age of 25 prefer to watch sport in the digital world than on traditional television,
- 69% of users watch regularly sports programs on smartphone.
French people are clearly turning away from television in favour of streaming websites. This trend will explode in the coming years with the new generations, like the 4 to 14 years old, consumers of tomorrow, who now spend more time on replays, streaming and SVOD contents than on television programs (Tendances Kids 2021 M6 & Gulli barometer).
The impending end of linear television
Reed Hastings, co-founder of Netflix and current CEO of the company, predicts the end of linear television in the next five to ten years.
Streaming services are already beginning to take over from television channels. Thus, Netflix’s share of the American television audience reached a record level of 7.7% in June 2022 (compared to 6.6% in June 2021) according to the Nielsen Institute.
The OTT television of tomorrow
Television is dead. Long live television ! The OTT(over-the-top) platforms are the future. Between videos on replay, VOD (video on demand), live streaming, the offer is wide to adapt to new consumers.
Different OTT models – as many video monetization formulas – coexist:
- The AVOD (advertising VOD or advertising) offers free video content in return for advertisements,
- The SVOD (VOD by subscription) gives unlimited access to the video catalog according to a monthly, quarterly or annual subscription formula,
- The TVOD or pay -per-view offers the purchase of single videos,
- The Freemium consists of offering free content over a limited period or restricted catalog.
Digital TV Research predicts that in Europe, OTT market incomes will increase from $26 billion in revenue in 2021 to $45 billion in 2027 in Europe, driven by SVOD and AVOD.
The sport future through OTT
After having proven itself in the fields of cinema, festivals, training and media, OTT has gradually established itself in the sports universe.
Sports clubs and federations participate in the democratization of the OTT offer through the broadcasting of their sports contents on their own streaming platform. These last years, the rights holders such as the National Volleyball League, the National Basketball League, the Professional Football League and the National Rugby League have launched their own OTT video platform. At European level, The UEFA has also created its OTT streaming platform UEFA.tv.
What are the challenges behind OTT for sports leagues and federations?
The traditional linear broadcasters are showing their limits, while new video uses are emerging… In this context, the OTT platforms represent a real opportunity for leagues and federations.
Answering to new uses and attracting a new public
Even if the number of subscribers to OTT offers of sports contents remains limited with a penetration rate of around 1 to 3% per platform, the potential for expanding the fan base is very real. Evidenced by the evolution of uses. Thus, through self-distribution of their online video contents offer, sports federations and clubs can capture this young audience who tends to abandon the small screen.
Conquering new territories
The objective here is to position itself in new countries, where a league, a federation or more specifically a sports competition still lacks visibility on the traditional television.
The NBA opened the door with the distribution of its contents in OTT outside the United States in 2008. In France, the Tennis French Federation has launched an OTT platform in Brazil to broadcast Roland-Garros in direct competition with the local broadcasters.
The Professional Football League has created its own OTT application to broadcast Ligue 1 in Belgium, Poland and the Netherlands, and thus circumvent the problems linked to local actors.In this way, by expanding their panel of viewers, leagues and federations can increase their revenues.
Improving the visibility of your brand
Broadcasting its videos on the Internet, on a dedicated streaming site or application and/or on external platforms irremediably increases the visibility of the brand and contributes to developing consumer engagement and its relationship with the brand. For example, the NBA publishes daily free videos of matches, results, players or even anecdotes on its OTT platform and social profiles, thus helping to make the league one of the most popular in social media.
Get to know your consumers better
Creating your own OTT platform – in self-distribution – allows you to know your audience and the performance of your content: on the one hand thanks to audience measurement tools, and on the other hand through a “member area”. As a platform publisher, you can view and analyse the consumption habits of your users. These data then allow you to:
- to disseminate your key figures to advertisers and sponsors;
- to adapt your services and products to always best meet the expectations of your fans and viewers.
Optimizing the user experience
The creation of an OTT service of sports services aims precisely to improve the user experience. The gaol is to offer a technically reliable platform, an ergonomic environment and navigation and, of course, satisfactory video viewing quality. Additional features, made by Bee propelled by Kinow, enrich the "fan experience": multi-screen broadcasting, simultaneous live management, interactive videos (favourites, comments, likes, sharing), calendar of events, statistics, highlights…
To remember about the self-distribution of sports streaming platform
Increasingly, over the generations, users are turning away from linear television in favour of online video.
As a substitute or in addition to traditional linear broadcasters, sports leagues and federations therefore have every interest in developing their own OTT services, to:
- Increase their reach and their subscriber base by responding to new uses and targeting new territories,
- Access user data,
- Develop their income through subscription (SVOD) or advertising (AVOD),
- Obtain additional revenues from sponsorship.
Bee, the OTT solution for sports leagues and federations
With the Bee solution, Kinow supports clubs, federations and sports leagues in the deployment of their own live and on-demand video streaming service.
A turnkey solution to create your OTT sports platform
The Bee propelled by Kinow turnkey solution allows leagues and federations to create their own OTT platform on all screens. Customize your platform to your image, choose your economic model (SVOD, TVOD, AVOD) and broadcast your videos in France or internationally.
“The Bee propelled by Kinow solution is complete and perfectly adaptable. It allowed us to create a very diversified catalog and an international offer in record time. We recommend it if, like us, you want to stand out and position yourself quickly in a highly competitive market, in the field of sport or elsewhere. »
Roman KUZMINAC - President, Upskill Handball
“With Bee propelled by Kinow, you have access to a turnkey solution, advanced features, and you benefit from all our expertise to create and optimize your streaming offer. »
Pierre ANTOINE - Director of the Kinow Business Unit, Alpha Networks Group
Bee propelled by Kinow sports partner
Upskill Handball, VOD platform dedicated to handball, uses the Bee propelled by Kinow streaming solution to offer a complete catalog to fans of the discipline around the world.
The National Volleyball League (LNV) has also chosen the OTT Bee solution propelled by Kinow to modernize its streaming service and create a strong "fan experience" around the broadcast of its matches live and in replay.
Beyond this support, the LNV and Alpha Networks (mother company of Kinow) have concluded a partnership agreement for the next three sports seasons.
Like Upskill Handball and LNV, are you ready to create and distribute your own sports OTT platform, and increase your reach, audience and revenue?