Sport and OTT, results and keys to success


Since the first large-scale digital sport broadcast, during the Olympics Games in Turin in 2016 until today, technologies and viewing habits have fundamentally changed. From linear to OTT, some tips to get you started on the right foot.

1.From linear to OTT

Today, broadcasting a sporting event is still a real challenge, whether at a national or global level. The traditional business model of sport is gradually shifting from linear to digital television via the OTT (Over The Top) model.

Over The Top refers to services providing audiovisual content over the Internet, without going through traditional network operators. In OTT we find particular formats of video on demand such as TVOD (purchase by the act), SVOD (subscription) and AVOD (advertising).

In the United States, according to a study conducted by the Center for the Digital Future at USC Annenberg and ThePostGame, 86% of Americans identify themselves as "sports fan" and 24% say they are "passionate fans" .

And above all, “63% of sports fans are interested in subscribing to an all-sports over-the-top channel or OTT live broadcast”.

If the demand is real, the offer must still be organized. Indeed, since the emergence of this new model on demand, it is no longer just the big broadcasters and sport compagnies that broadcast their events. Niche sports also find their audience with specialized services (this concept of niche sport is opposed to mainstream sport on which the number of bettors and the bets are incomparable, eg football).

According to a Performance Communications study, 51% of niche sports fans watch them online, in streaming. In addition, the new generation of niche sports spectators were born in the digital age (Internet allowed them to explore those sports) and are already accustomed to consuming content on demand.

Thus, to acquire a new audience, it is strategic to offer its sports program differently thanks to the OTT. But VOD platforms also help to retain its subscribers in long term.

Indeed, once a user base is built on an OTT service, the video platforms will be able to collect and analyze its viewing and sales data. This information gives content owners a better understanding of their audience and their consumption habits. And so keys to develop their user base and retain it.

Thanks to cost-effective broadcasting services, deployable instantly, sports broadcasters of any profile have been able to make their place in the landscape of the OTT.

2.Stake on the right broadcast and monetization

In the sports field like other niches, the most important thing is to offer fresh and exclusive content, renewed regularly that will stand out from other VOD services, with real added value for the end user.

In terms of formats, sports OTT services must offer their programs live and replay.

In sport, live is huge. Live transmissions are numerous and it is necessary to choose a reliable partner who can broadcast a sporting event in real time in high quality.

The programs must also be available in replay 24/7 so that subscribers can access the content of their choice, when and where they want. It means be ATAWAD : “Any time, anywhere, any device”.

SVOD's business model with a weekly, monthly or annual subscription is particularly well-suited to the sports field, which acquires content over time, with more intensive periods during competitions and other big events.

Be careful however, you have to be careful to let popular and casual sports events accessible to as many people as possible by offering "free month" offers for example.

We’re thinking in particular of Eurosport, who had chosen to broadcast fifteen matches of the Coupe de France only on its SVOD service on the internet. The formula at € 5.99 for a subscription to the year or € 9.99 for a freedom formula has not passed and raised a strong dissatisfaction on the part of Internet users used to viewing the games for free.

To offer a complete and quality OTT video service, we must also look at features such as the choice of transcoding content, CDN, multi-screen, user viewing limitation... Which are also criteria to observe carefully when selecting its technical service provider.

To learn more about how to launch a quality OTT video service, download our latest white paper "The guidebook to a successful OTT service".