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A long-time sports media executive, Watson was the CEO of BT TV who masterminded the daring raid on the Premier League rights and BT’s subsequent entrance into the UK sports broadcast landscape in 2012. He left BT in 2014, spent some time away, before hooking up with Andrea Radrizzani – of MP & Silva fame – to take a role in his old pal’s new business empire, Aser Media.
Eleven Sports is the gleaming broadcast jewel in the Aser crown. According to Watson, it’s the world’s fastest growing sports network and an example of what can be achieved in this age of stripped down and nimble OTT broadcast distribution.
Launching with just three-months’ notice in 2015, the network now includes 17 services in seven markets across the world with 14 million paying customers. The network has different but significant services in the likes of Belgium, Singapore, Poland, Taiwan, Italy and the US and it seems like they’re doing rights deals on a regular basis, with EFL rights, MMA rights, and Drone Racing some of the latest acquisitions.
In this conversation, Watson covers:
– how to break into new markets with broadcast products;
– what he expects from Amazon and the social networks in the sports broadcast market;
– why he considers Perform and DAZN to be the bravest players in the sports media market today;
– and why Italy and Africa are ripe with opportunity.
Listen to the episode below; like, subscribe on iTunes or your favoured podcast platform.