Written by Ophir Zardok, LiveU’s Sports Business Development
More and more people around the world are viewing live sports content online.
As more live content is made available to viewers directly, whether competitions, individual games, athletes during their practice sessions, or going about their daily lives; It is simply up to the viewer to decide what they would like to watch.
With content being produced and streamed on a plethora of platforms, we see how various sports which traditionally were not as popular in certain areas of the globe, grow in popularity. Take the example of soccer which has seen exponential growth in popularity within North America and is now the second-most-played youth sport there. Americans nowadays, between the ages of 18 and 34, name soccer as their favorite sport over baseball.
Many major companies have understood this trend and are becoming prominent stakeholders, such as Amazon which is live streaming some of the UK’s Premier League matches as well as some NFL games. DAZN, known as the “Netflix of the sports world” offers live streams of a variety of live sports events such as football, boxing, basketball, and more. Facebook Live is streaming cricket in India, this is a growing international phenomenon.
If you produce, create, or are the rights-holder of sports content, you know this, you also know you cannot afford to lose these viewers. You want to stand out – you need to differentiate yourself from your competitors, you must be a step ahead of the rest.
There are many benefits to creating more live sports-related content. Based on my experience, here are the main three opportunities you should not miss out on.
With today’s live-streaming technology you do not need to compromise on quality. You can maintain HD quality with compact and powerful IP solutions at a fraction of the cost it used to be for live streaming. Your viewers will get the best seats in the house and enjoy high-quality live streaming wherever they are. This means that live streaming is no longer exclusive to major sporting events.
Your content doesn’t have to be restricted only to the sporting competition, or game, there is an array of content consumed.
Your options are endless; athletes’ training sessions, the athletes going about their daily lives, coaches being interviewed, etc. This means you can offer a lot of choices if you would like to do so. Sports fans can obtain news regarding their favorite teams, athletes, and players from anywhere. It has been a growing trend over the past few years, for athletes to become content creators as they post on their own social media and websites. Sports fans enjoy having this first-hand unmediated content at the tip of their fingers.
In addition, to expanding the content you have on offer you can archive all your live content and offer it as VOD.
When you create more live content for your viewers, you offer more value which translates to more followers – this means more eyes on your content.
When you create more valued content, your viewers know that, and they will come back again and again because you offer something unique which they care about.
If you decide to stream live to your website and social media outlets you can get an immediate reaction from your viewers. This allows you to have a direct conversation with your audience which is invaluable in today’s marketplace.
When you create engaging unique live content for your viewers, you can ask for a subscription fee to build up recurring revenue.
Moreover, with increasing subscriber numbers, you could decide to have a working relationship with sponsors who would be interested in paying you to get access to your audience.
This is just the tip of the iceberg and there is so much more potential to be explored as this trend expands in multiple directions.
On a personal note, I have always loved sports, watching sports, working in sports, and participating in sports. As dynamic as a great match is, so is the production of live sports content. I have seen the changes in this aspect first-hand and it is fascinating to be part of this ever-changing, challenging captivating world. It has been a little over a year since I began working at LiveU, seeing the effects LiveU’s technology has, with its main purpose serving the needs of its customers whatever those needs may be. With our groundbreaking technology, we provide a variety of solutions to right holders, broadcasters, leagues, teams, athletes, and more, ensuring top-quality live-streaming.
Sports can break boundaries and help build bridges. I wish that in 2020 more and more people will enjoy all aspects of sports regardless of who they are, where they come from and where they are going.
If you would like to continue to learn more about live sports production check out our live sports production page.