Subscriptions to sports content have increased by 24% in North American in 2018. As more viewers continue to go digital sports operators are strengthening their commitment to OTT.
Streaming has radically shifted the way sports fans engage with sports content and these changes have led to an increase in demand for flexibility and lower prices for OTT subscriptions by viewers. According to a recent survey by Deltrate, 77% of sports fans want the ability to watch their favorite teams play at their own pace – 85% percent of viewers cited that uninterrupted viewing experience was the most important reason they consumed sports content online.
Cord-cutting is a global trend driving a worldwide decline of pay-TV subscribers (as reported in Q3 2018 findings). This trend has been driven by the penetration and proliferation of on-demand subscription services across many industries like entertainment, food delivery, and transportation.
After years of focus on the trading of sports media rights to television operators, the sports media industry has finally started to use technology to deliver targeted, one-to-one experiences as a means to increase audience share, drive monetization and reduce churn.
“If a content or distribution company wants to be relevant to the new generation of consumers, it has to be on the front end of the OTT movement and the time is now with a significant amount of sports rights in play over the next four years.
The investment in OTT will drive innovation that fuels growth businesses fueled by deep levels of data and insights derived from a highly-engaged, rapidly growing audience. Those that ignore this opportunity will pay a real penalty because they’ll miss out on a highly-valuable consumer base which nobody can afford to do.” Stated George Pyne, CEO of Bruin Sports Capital.
Speed will continue to be a competitive edge in the growing market of OTT services. Subscribers want everything fast with a very low tolerance for startup times longer than four seconds. OTT services are expected to not only match broadcast quality but surpass it. Not getting this right will lead to disappointed consumers and lost revenue. This is why colocation is crucial to satisfy viewers’ demand for speed by helping content providers physically move content closer to viewers which helps decrease latency and ultimately improves user experience.