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Broadcast, Digital & Media, Future Trends, Sport Business | Sep 3, 2020 | 8 min read

9 things you need to know today about the shifting sports media landscape

By James Emmett and David Cushnan

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Short form

The IPC’s winning media strategy
Streaming time increases massively in Europe
Tennis TV and Facebook in focus
DAZN and J-League redefine terms
Globo set to end F1 coverage
PointsBet signs mega-deal with NBC Sports
Leaders Linked: Remote production in focus
SportsTribal TV opts for RedBee
All change at TikTok as Mayer exits

 

Long form

THE BIG PICTURE

Welcome to the Broadcast Disruptors Bulletin, your fortnightly briefing on sports broadcasting, content creation and distribution. Good to have you along.

As always, please do stay in touch and send through news, intelligence, gossip and opinion to [email protected] and [email protected].

Despite the delay to the Tokyo 2020 Games, these have been busy and exceptional weeks for the International Paralympic Committee.

Its fresh rights deal with UK broadcaster Channel 4, covering Paris 2024, ensures that a partnership that has redefined how the Paralympics is broadcast – in terms of resource, coverage and impact – will continue beyond the rescheduled Tokyo 2020.

It has launched a new podcast series, supported by global partner Allianz and lovingly produced by LiveWire, exploring the life and mindset of a different Paralympian each week.

And, as you may well have seen, it has basked in the glory of Rising Phoenix, the film, available on Netflix, chronicling astonishing athlete stories, the huge successes of the Beijing and London Games, and the troubled build-up to Rio 2016. In the year of The Last Dance, it might just be the best sports documentary of the last 12 months. It’s that good.

Grouped together, it’s exactly the sort of content and media package any modern rights holder should be striving for: a live core with a creative and pioneering broadcast partner, depth and substance from a podcast series, and a stirring, inspirational documentary to help captivate and engage potential new fans. It has the feel of a winning strategy.


THE NUMBERS

Streaming time in Europe increased by 134% between Q2 2019 and Q2 2020, according to Conviva’s latest State of Streaming report. A month-by-month analysis shows that in April, at the height of the Covid-19 lockdown, streaming time had increased by 174%. Globally, between Q2 last year and Q2 this, streaming time was up 63%, although in Asia it rose by only 2%.

Source: Conviva’s ‘State of Streaming Q2 2020’ report


PRODUCTION NOTES

Tennis TV is the official streaming service of the ATP Tour, providing subscribers with coverage of every ATP tournament alongside over 5,000 classic matches. The service has been working on increasing its monetisation opportunities via Facebook platforms in recent times, working on increasing its longer-form video output, improving its long-form video engagement and benefiting from in-stream ads eligibility.

Full details of Tennis TV’s strategy and the results can be found in this new Facebook case study.


RIGHTS WATCH

DAZN and J-League redefine deal
DAZN and the J-League have signed an extension to their existing 10-year partnership, ensuring that the streaming service will be the exclusive domestic broadcaster of the competition until 2028. The new agreement is based upon a profit-sharing model which DAZN said takes its cue from partnerships between music labels and online streaming services. It also reduces DAZN’s fixed annual rights fees. James Rushton, newly-installed as Acting CEO at DAZN Group, said: “We are proud to pioneer this new risk-reward proposition with the J-League that extends our partnership, supports mutual prosperity and marks a new industry standard for the sports rights business.” Rushton added that DAZN’s Japanese subscriber base is on track to recover to pre-Covid 19 levels by Q4 this year.

Globo’s longstanding F1 deal set to end
A significant change is looming in one of Formula One’s major broadcast markets, with Brazil’s Globo reportedly deciding not to renew its longstanding rights deal beyond the end of this year. Formula One is likely to roll out its own OTT streaming service in a market which has traditionally delivered some of the sport’s largest audiences. Globo has been a Formula One broadcaster since the early-seventies, but has been looking to rein in costs during the Covid-19 pandemic.


CONTENT/PRODUCTION

PointsBet signs mega-deal with NBC
PointsBet has signed an exclusive agreement to become NBC Sports’ official betting partner. The broadcaster will provide PointsBet with ‘year-round multiplatform media and marketing opportunities’ across its portfolio of live rights, as well as Spanish-language functionality via Telemundo Deportes and Telemundo. PointsBet will be the exclusive provider of odds and tips across NBC Sports Network, Golf Channel and Peacock, NBC’s streaming service. The deal is reported to be worth almost US$500 over five years. NBC will receive a rights fee, plus a cut of fees in relation to customers referred to the betting firm and a 4.9% stake in the company.

Remote production in focus
Our latest Leaders Linked webinar, broadcast live last week and available to view in full here, brought together a trio of experts to discuss the advancement of remote production – and how sports organisations in particular have adapted to the new realities of content creation and delivery during the Covid-19 crisis. Ian McDonough, CEO of cloud video editing specialists Blackbird; Arsenal FC’s Senior Product and Engineering Manager John Dollin; and Scott Gillies, Chief Technology Officer at newly-launched video game and esports TV network VENN joined us for a – remotely-produced – session examining the ways in which more content is being delivered quicker than ever, in complicated circumstances. As McDonough surveyed the remote production landscape, he homed in on three key advances: First, that “the kit is key”; producing content on off-the-shelf laptops has become the norm. Second, making archive material rapidly accessible from a central election, to allow for quick splicing and clipping, has become vitally important. And third, an accelerated migration to public cloud, with the security, sustainability and convenience benefits that brings.


THE JOBS BOARD

Greenberg joins The Athletic
Former News Corp Global Head of Rights Simon Greenberg will join online sports subscription service The Athletic next week in the new role of Head of International Business and Corporate Development. Greenberg was most recently Head of Dow Jones Sport. Between 2004 and 2009 he was Chelsea FC’s Communications and Public Affairs Director.


DISTRIBUTION

SportsTribal TV opt for Red Bee
SportsTribal TV, a soon-to-launch sports streaming service, has selected Red Bee Media to run and manage its OTT platform. The new service is scheduled to launch later this year, initially as a mobile and web service before a planned roll-out across major connected TV and streaming platforms in 2021. It has been designed to allow traditional and non-traditional sports rights holders, niche sports and social creators to turn video content into 24/7 streaming channels for fans. “The Red Bee Managed OTT offering is perfectly suited to support a service like this,” said Red Bee CEO Steve Nylund, “bringing high-end viewing experience and a wide variety of content to sports fans globally, while enabling monetisation of content rights through advertising.”

All change at Tik Tok
Last week’s surprise resignation of Kevin Mayer as CEO of TikTok has propelled Vanessa Pappas into the most senior role at the embattled company. Australian Pappas is a former YouTube executive who has held the role of US General Manager at TikTok, but will now become Interim CEO. Former Disney executive Mayer resigned after what he called ‘significant reflection’ on ‘what the corporate structural changes will require and what it means for the global role I signed up for’. Talks continue about the sale of TikTok’s US business following last month’s executive order by US President Donald Trump.

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