Premier League with your Prime package?
What usually hits the headlines when it comes to sports broadcasting rights, is the eye-watering amounts companies like Sky and BT pay for the rights to broadcast the biggest matches in football. And specifically, the staggering increase in prices every time, like the 70% price hike to £5 billion for the current Premier League.
Year-after-year we see the usual offenders swooping in to get their pick of the sports, but this year was different. What hit the headlines in 2018 was who was gunning for the rights, and then how much they paid for it.
For the first time, we’ve seen Amazon dig deep to secure a slice of the cake – and a decent slice at that! From 2019, Amazon will show 20 games per season for 3 years, available to Amazon Prime Video subscribers at no extra cost. They’ve also secured the rights to the US open, which begs the question – are we about to see a shift in how we view sports?
Well, if Amazon continue this spending spree, then the way in which we consume sports and even are normalised to viewing them is likely to change somewhat.
Other digital platforms are following similar patterns – Facebook has been busy buying the rights to La Liga, to broadcast it live for free in India (which is a lot of potential eyes!). And then there’s DAZN, an emerging streaming service.
DAZN is the first global on-demand streaming service to be focused purely on sports. It is leading the charge to give sports fans around the world affordable access to their favourite sports anytime, anywhere. DAZN has already shaken up the global sports market and is now available in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Japan, Canada, the U.S. and Italy.
As well as altering how viewers consume sports, a shift to free and subscription-based online viewing will change the sports broadcasting dynamic for advertisers too, and potentially limit how advertisers can gain access to it.
Live sports on TV have long-since been a premium space for advertisers, particularly for those trying to reach hard to find male TV audiences, and specifically for sports betting brands advertising within live sports.
Whilst it won’t wipe out linear TV sports viewing straight away, who’s to say it won’t 10-years from now? In the meantime, a decrease in supply will only increase the prices advertisers need to pay to access it.
It’s worth noting though that not all of TV’s challenger brands are jumping in; Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings has reportedly said that the company has no desire to compete in this space and will continue to focus on its TV and films.
Only time will tell if Amazon, Facebook and other tech companies are making smart moves or not. If they are, I’m sure it won’t take long for other industry giants to take note and change their tune.
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