TV and Digital Multi-Platform Demands Discussed at Sportel America

It was a busy week in Miami as Sportel Americas visited the Magic City.

I participated in a panel in which the conversation was centered around the increasing challenges that Sports Right’s Holders face to balance their traditional TV and new digital multi-platform demands.

The panel was moderated by Jason Dachman of SVG and included Mike Green (Brightcove), Bruno Rocha (Perform), Guillermo Santa Cruz (IMG Media), Ed Wells (WWE) and Tom Impallomeni (Virtual Life)

Make money with digital media

Panel members had a healthy conversation around fans’ demands to access live sports over an increased number of platforms, richer experiences (interactivity, personalization, social, move viewer control, additional stats and access to content on and off the field) and a business model which is still highly dependent on traditional linear tv for the lion’s share of the revenue.

We all want digital delivery but it is not yet clear how Right’s Holders will make money – there is no significant revenue on second screens, but nobody can afford to neglect the rapidly growing digital delivery space.

On the topic of second screen we discussed the lack of agreement on what a second screen was – from the end user point of view.

There are significant differences in the way people consume content – by age (older generations vs millennials), location (home, mobile, in-venue), market/usage requirements (B2C, betting applications, fantasy leagues), geographies (US vs Latin America, for instance), etc.

Understanding your market and your end-user become more critical – making the use of analytics increasingly relevant.

We know people will go to the best screen. The TV screen is still king, when available. That does not mean TV is necessarily the “first screen” especially in the case of millennials.

For younger generations – is Facebook the second screen? Snapchat? With new players like Apple, Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter taking more and more of the “digital” time of consumers, are we far from seeing these players bid for sports rights in some of the top leagues around the world

New players in the sport business

Live drives engagement – and video is the new currency. Live Sports stand alone as the key driver for real time consumption of content.

Although TV consumption in general is slowly declining, more screens result in more viewership and higher overall aggregated consumption – of live sporting events, of mobile services, and of internet bandwidth.

This is drawing in new players — like telecommunications services providers ( BT, Telefonica, Orange, America Movil, Tigo among them) to acquire sports rights to create value added services to their customer base.

We are living exciting but challenging times. Paraphrasing a recent country song – life is a dance – we learn as we go. There is a lot of dancing and learning to be done.