Game On for Sports broadcasting

At Paywizard, we love sports and are fascinated by the changes we have seen in sports broadcasting this year. With sports being delivered via OTT continuing to captivate global audiences; the rise in social media coverage of sports and highlights; and the returned popularity of Pay-Per-View (PPV) shown by the recent Mayweather vs Macgregor fight coming in at an estimated 4.4 million PPV purchases; it’s no wonder competition is bigger than ever. Lets’ take a look at some of these trends in more detail:

The Rise of OTT Sports Rights

The shift from traditional viewing of sports to OTT has been happening for a few years, but now it’s becoming a whole new ball game – especially for Tennis. This year, avid tennis fans in the UK will have to sign up to Amazon Prime, Euro Sports and BT Sports to watch all tennis leagues and competitions.

Back in August, Amazon outbid Sky to win the exclusive ATP tour tennis rights. This is Amazon’s first major live TV sports rights deal outside of the US and potentially signals that an already competitive market could be about to heat up further; pitting digital players against traditional TV broadcasters.

This follows Amazon’s agreement with the National Football League to stream 10 Thursday-night American football games in the US this season, alongside broadcasters NBC and CBS. Amazon also has the rights to live audio-streaming for Bundesliga football commentaries in Germany, available through its Amazon Music service.

Amongst service providers, we see that competition will continue to grow. For example, fuboTV, a sports-first live streaming TV service in the US, recently passed the 100,000 subscriber milestone. Originally launching in January 2015 as a streaming soccer destination, fuboTV has – in less than a year – built a new over-the-top (OTT) live service that offers 65-plus channels, providing fans with the most sports for the least money, and keeping traditional broadcasters and other digital streaming services on their toes.

So, what does this mean for consumers as they seek access to their favourite sports? More flexibility and choice but an increase in spend on TV? Or cord cutting to reduce costs? Research from Paywizard found that 64% of people said they would cut back on subscriptions like cable or satellite to reduce costs in order to sign up to a new OTT service. Service providers must beware!

Pay-Per-View – back by popular demand

As all operators seek to secure new revenue streams and increase customer loyalty, Pay-Per-View is increasingly becoming a viable option. Traditionally, the remit of PPV has been exclusively for the dominant operator with the largest subscriber base.  However, free-to-air broadcasters are increasingly bidding and securing sporting rights in a bid to drive paid revenue streams as advertising revenues continue to shrink. Whilst the new OTT entrants, as mentioned above, are bidding and winning rights all over the world.

With ad revenues on the decline and rights continuing to spiral in costs, operators today need to maximize and monetise sports content by distributing wider across devices and platforms. This is why PPV as a proven addition to any existing subscription or ad-funded model and is on the rise.

An Award Winning PPV Solution called ‘Venue’

In September, Paywizard and our partner Ostmodern, were honoured with a ‘Best of Show Award’ for our Pay-Per-View solution, Venue, by NewBay Media’s TV Technology Global Magazine at IBC 2017.

PPV is very complex and our award-winning solution reflects the shared Paywizard and Ostmodern philosophy of managing PPV TV viewers by treating them as long-term customers rather than one-off buyers. Central to Venue is the relationship between the operator and the customer – enhanced by data-driven optimisation of the content journey throughout the PPV customer Decision Moments.

Recently, we were delighted to announce ITV Box Office as our first ‘Venue’ customer, to help support ITV Box Office to build loyal, long-term and repeat subscriber relationships after securing the rights to the World Boxing Super Series.

“As an established and trusted partner of ITV Box Office, Paywizard’s extensive experience in successfully delivering both PPV and subscription TV means they really understood our need for a robust, scalable solution. When they launched Venue with Ostmodern, we felt their philosophy around treating PPV viewers as long-term subscribers aligned with our over-arching strategy in growing our Pay-Per-View offering. Venue was the perfect fit” said Neale Dennett, Director, Pay Content and Packages, ITV.

Launching a new PPV service soon?

Paywizard have been supporting our sports clients like BT Sport, BoxNation and Racing UK for nearly 20 years. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you too.