Sports are Driving the Streaming Revolution. Here’s Why

Miles Weaver
Miles Weaver Marketing Director

It’s reached that time in the calendar when the year in review reports start appearing, covering every aspect of the industry. When you have a blog that spends not an insignificant portion of its output analysing the media and entertainment space, these reports offer a goldmine of interesting research to pore over and explore. Following on from what we’ve been discussing recently, let’s look at the findings of one such report, from Conviva, and how sports are increasingly acting as a driver in live TV streaming growth.

Conviva’s State of the Streaming TV Industry report Q3 2018 shows that there has been enormous growth in global TV streaming in the past year, with a 52% jump in plays and 63% growth in total viewing hours recorded year-on-year. Viewers are demanding seamless streaming experiences, and publishers are increasingly rising to meet those demands with a higher overall QOE.

A key driver of this growth, the report revealed, is from live sports, where streaming has taken off in a big way in the last 12-18 months as an increased range of sports organisations have bought their content to the streaming market. A major contributor around the middle of the year was the World Cup, which, in addition to increasing demand from existing sports streaming audiences, also seemed to encourage a new set of viewers to try viewing online for the first time. It is likely that September’s Ryder Cup will have had the same effect (albeit on a slightly smaller scale) with golf fans.

As viewer confidence in the quality of experience grows, they are increasingly willing to watch live sports content – something that can be utterly ruined by a poor viewing experience – via streaming services, rather than on linear streams. Along with the convenience of watching on the go and on any device come the additional benefits of multiple camera angles, bespoke analysis, split screen viewing and other things, while also in many cases having the option to watch archive content too. This is especially true on direct to consumer services that are owned and operated by the sports organisations themselves, as they can make the full range of their libraries available for their most passionate followers.

Of course, a rising tide also lifts all boats, and as many of the bigger sports organisations choose to deliver their content online (because that’s where their audience are deciding to view content), an increasing number of smaller sporting organisations are finding now to be an opportune time to start delivering their content direct to their fans via an online service as well. Viewers are ready for it, platforms are capable of supporting the kind of experience audiences expect, and the commercial models are flexible enough to make the technology viable for any sports organisation. Conviva’s report shows that the momentum for streaming sports is not just growing, but accelerating. Now is the time to join the revolution.

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Miles Weaver

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Miles Weaver Marketing Director
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