The internet has enabled high-resolution, fast and reliable video streaming, which has disrupted television viewing in general. This has been a boon for the sports industry, which uses OTT platforms to supplement or replace traditional TV broadcasts.
The landscape of sports clubs and leagues is also more diverse than the four major leagues (NFL/NBA/MLB/NHL). Even though smaller leagues like the WNBA or major league soccer have large potential audiences and leagues from semipro to minor leagues to college, as well as leagues from high school and recreational to reach their audiences with new technologies, leagues of all sizes, including those in major league soccer, are still very popular. OTT is the most popular technology.
Why OTT is the Ideal Platform to Sport
Rethink TV and Pirlotv studies predict that sports streaming revenues will exceed $85 billion by 2024. This market is large and has room for growth. Verizon reports that 63 percent said they would pay for live streaming services.
OTT platforms are great for sports for various reasons
- Live action can be captured by fans even when they would otherwise miss it, such as in an airport layover.
- If they are unable to attend the game live, fans can view replays.
- You can personalize your experience.
- Apps may offer additional information, such as scores and stats.
This allows providers to offer value-added services quickly and show ads that are targeted at each viewer, something traditional television cannot do.
The Benefits of OTT for Sports Clubs, leagues, and Teams
Television providers and independent streaming services like FuboTV and Pikashow have all jumped on to the OTT bandwagon, as have teams. Why not? There is no barrier to broadcasting your own games, as opposed to building a television network. Super fans can be served by teams offering behind-the-scenes access, direct advertising, and first access to all games. Teams can also use the same targeted advertising and personalized services as networks.
Even the smallest clubs, such as a local college hockey team, can use OTT services to stream games to their fans. This builds brand loyalty and audience engagement similar to major broadcasters.
Audiences are moving to OTT
If the audience was not there, it would be pointless to discuss clubs and teams moving over to OTT. They are, fortunately. Businesses and individuals are increasingly turning to OTT services.
2019 was a turning point for consumers. 2019 saw a tipping point for consumers. For the first-ever time, streaming services were being subscribed to by more people than cable. Not only this, but eMarketer’s new research suggests that 46.6 million households will switch to streaming services by 2024.
Sports bars and other businesses
Restaurants and bars have seen a slowdown in business since 2020. However, many sports fans still prefer bars to watch one or more of the games. Bars have started to switch to OTT services because they can save money and have more control over the content, including the possibility of ad-free broadcasting. Some bars may be able to start their own OTT services. After all, it may take them longer to return to normal.
It’s clear that video-on-demand is a valuable tool. The market share for sports broadcasting in the streaming market is increasing exponentially. The technology is improving, faster, and more service-oriented. This means that both small and large sports teams and clubs are jumping on board the OTT train, leaving behind less savvy competitors.