Today I am delighted to share the findings of the MediaKind 2021 Sports D2C Forecast! It is the most significant analysis ever undertaken of the direct-to-consumer (D2C) OTT platforms owned and operated directly by sports rights-holders.
The rationale behind the report
Over the past few years, there has been a notable shift in the pay-TV space. If you look at the US market in particular – the highest value sports market globally – we can see the prevalence of pay-TV bundles. They are changing dramatically; the big OTT market disruptors have transformed the entire entertainment market, and in recent years, we are starting to see the impact on the sports market.
The knock-on effect impacts the sports franchises the most. Sports leagues and federations have not traditionally invested large sums in technology themselves. Innovation has been heavily dependent on the broadcasters to find new methods of getting sports content on screen and marketing the content itself.
D2C services enable rights-holders to readdress their media strategies. Now is the moment for experimentation and to test new D2C offerings without risking the guaranteed mid-term revenues generated by existing broadcasting rights deals. Rights-holders of all sizes, across all markets, can start to build new services to test the D2C space and expand their knowledge of it. It also enables them to target dark market audiences that have been tough to reach to date via traditional broadcast models.
Therefore, we designed our research to see which rights-holders had built longer-term strategies to look for alternative ways to monetize their core product – and which were simply testing the waters.
The MediaKind 2021 Sports D2C Sports Forecast
In conjunction with The Sports Playmaker, our research covers 40 sports rights-holders from across those the world. In total, the 40 sports rights-holders account for about three-quarters of the global value of the sports media rights market. Those analyzed include the four major US sports leagues, regional confederations, national associations, leagues, and clubs.
We made sure our analysis encompassed the wealthiest rights-holders in sports, as well as those more focused on niche sports and challenger events. We did this because we wanted to understand the challenges they are or will face in full and how they perceive D2C as an alternate way to reach and draw new revenues.
The report focuses on seven core areas:
- Media strategies – why D2C is an increasingly important element for sports rights-holders today
- Current business models – why subscription-based packages are dominating the market
- Pricing – and how best to maximize recurring revenues in the market
- Stability – why developing a reliable platform at scale is an increasingly significant priority to rights-holders entering the D2C space
- Live content – why it will always remain king
- Fan engagement features – why the UX bar is rising from pure entertainment to fan engagement
- Monetization – the largely untapped opportunities that exist for rights-holders
Download the report now to discover unique insights, case studies, best practices, and current industry thinking around the D2C sports market!
My colleague, Dheeraj Ravula, Head of Product for D2C Video Solutions, will be discussing some of the unique insights within the report in his forthcoming blog post next week. He will also be revealing details around a webinar session, which will be taking place later this month. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, watch our Sport for Business Daily interview with its CEO, Rob Hartnett, for extra insights!