The way in which we consume sports is changing. The large majority of us used to watch our team’s games in their entirety and some of us (like myself!) still do. However, now there are so many ways to watch, fans all over the world are looking at alternative ways of getting their sports fix, from waiting for the highlights to be posted to YouTube, to tracking goals in (almost) real-time on Twitter.
A recent survey by Altman Solon found that while fans are watching more sports since the pandemic (with a huge increase in the popularity of women’s sport), audiences are now opting for highlights over live games.
A study by YouGov Sport also shows that even though TV still leads the way in terms of consumption, online streaming and social media have surged over recent years, with a quarter of those surveyed also opting to stay updated via their mobile phone. This sizeable increase is likely down to GenZs and the younger millennials search for instant gratification with a preference for streaming as opposed to traditional forms like TV & radio.
The ever-evolving way in which fans consume media is bound to affect the future of sports broadcasting. Broadcasters are now having to put a bigger focus than ever on retaining customers’ attention and fighting off the endless of options available to them. Let’s have a look at some of the well-known big hitters and those looking to take their place.
Where else could we start? This broadcaster is synonymous with sport, particularly here in the UK. Launching in 1990, it revolutionised sports content and was, until the arrival of our next guest below, the only place to get a regular fix of constant sport. Although Sky Sports was first on the scene it has most definitely stood the test of time and is still leading the way.
You may view BT Sport as Sky Sports’ rebellious younger brother and you wouldn’t be far off. It quite literally burst on to the scene in 2013 to steal a piece of the sport broadcasting pie and succeeded. After pulling on its hugely deep purse strings it is now the official UK broadcaster for the Champions League and has been home to some huge boxing PPV events – to name just a few!
Amazon is slowly chipping away at its quest for sports dominance. Every so often it secures an exclusive batch of Premier League fixtures, most notably the past couple of festive fixtures, as well as various other sports like NFL and MLB.
The relatively new kids on the block, DAZN is widely considered as the world’s leading sport streaming service. Originally conquering America, it became known to UK sports fans when Eddie Hearn decided to utilise the service to stream the fights of Matchroom Boxing’s elite athletes, most notably, Antony Joshua. DAZN is also apparently sniffing around the Premier League broadcasting rights – more to follow on this.
Now, we’re being a slightly speculative by including Apple in this list but there’s something bubbling away at Apple HQ – we just know it! The technological powerhouse has already been rumoured to be preparing bids for both the Premier League viewing rights and Manchester United. So yeah, if this turns out to be true you could say they’re doing the opposite of starting small!
The names we’ve listed above indicate that the fight for sports dominance is likely to be a glorious one and we can’t wait to see it unfold. Luckily, here at Nifty, our approach to giving sports fan access is unique and doesn’t rely on broadcasters. We give sports organisations the opportunity to control the distribution of their content and monetise from it. Give us a shout if this sounds of interest!