by Sankalp Tiwari and Brent Mori
Name: Sankalp Tiwari
Role: Commercial Manager | Sport Experiences
Looking back to the last two to three years, the biggest change is the general growth in content consumption, especially on mobile. Second, only to China, India is one of the fastest-growing nations in terms of internet users and the penetration of mobile devices. Our internet data is one of the cheapest in the world and there are now 90+ OTT platforms in the video, music, podcast, and audio streaming categories in the Indian market.
Both these factors have led to the increased consumption of content on mobile. Broadcasters have packaged their content so it can be viewed on smaller screens, and they’ll need to continue to adapt to users’ needs to create more personalized experiences.
It’s no longer a case of the ‘survival of the fittest’, rather it’s the ‘survival of the (most) innovative.’
Commercial Manager | Sport Experiences
That being said, India is a vast country with a huge population and changing demographics. Data suggests that the number of households with TV sets has grown from 32% in 2001 to 66% in 2018, and it is now at the cusp of seeing a second wave of growth and penetration in the TV market, driven by non-linear media consumption, with households moving to more than one TV set per home as Smart TVs become more affordable.
Given the focus on streaming and mobile devices, the need for serving on-demand content has increased significantly. It’s no longer the case that one size fits all – you’ll need to personalize your offerings.
The challenge is to provide the right content to the right users. You need to know your audience better and for that, you’ll need to invest in capturing and mining data that can be used for personalization. For example, Cristiano Ronaldo fans watching a Champions League game in Spain featuring Juventus could be served trivia or fun facts in Spanish about Ronaldo during the game as a video overlay. Broadcasters need to adjust to this change towards fan-centric content.
This is where our video products, including DIVA or AXIS, can help. They unlock the ability to localize content in preferred languages, create overlays for engagement (games, quizzes, scorecards), etc. Obviously, the challenge is to keep the audiences engaged as attention spans on smaller devices are shorter, but that can be achieved with right packaging and by giving the fans the option to choose how they watch as much as possible.
Given that we’re an end-to-end solutions provider across digital, linear TV, and OTT, we’re very well-placed to advise our clients according to their requirements as we look at accepting this new fan behaviour.
Specific to India and APAC, I see tremendous growth of non-linear TV consumption. The rights value for linear TV will go down considerably, and with that, I expect the production-related costs will go down too. With Covid-19, we’re already seeing how remote production has evolved.
It’s no longer a case of the ‘survival of the fittest’, rather it’s the ‘survival of the (most) innovative’.
Name: Brent Mori
Role: Senior Commercial Director
Here in APAC, South Korea, which was aggressive in controlling the spread of Covid-19, was able to restart their professional soccer and baseball leagues in May, months ahead of most other countries. In Japan, the most popular professional sports, baseball, soccer, and sumo, all had postponements of seasons and tournaments, and when professional sports restarted, competition was for television only with no spectators in the stands. Importantly, successful public health contributed to ability to restart sports relatively early in South Korea and Japan.
While the pandemic should improve in the following seasons, our clients realize that unforeseen events, disasters, and illnesses will create the need for a more flexible infrastructure.
Senior Commercial Director
Since July, fans in Japan have been allowed back into stadiums – initially capped at 5,000 per match, and later increased to up to 10,000 or half capacity. Fans needed to adapt their behavior to a Covid world. Hardcore Japanese baseball fans used to sing and chant throughout the games, but now they are required to wear masks and watch the game quietly, a huge change in how the game sounds. In APAC, we see more viewership of sports and sports data on mobile devices than in Europe and North America, and that trend remains unchanged even though people are spending more time in the homes.
One request we hear from many customers is to accelerate the development of remote operations for televised events. Covid-19 has forced leagues to consider how many people they have on-site, and they would like to move more production technology and staff to remote facilities. Deltatre has enabled cloud-based production and operations for multiple clients in this environment, creating a more efficient and safer workflow.
Our clients see the need to be flexible and adopt new practices and technologies so they can work more effectively in new circumstances. While the pandemic should improve in the following seasons, our clients realize that unforeseen events, disasters, and illnesses will create the need for a more flexible infrastructure. Services that can be managed remotely and over networks will be more ready to operate in such unforeseen circumstances, enabling less interruptions in our clients’ businesses.
As a technology leader, we’re ready to help our clients adapt to and bring technology advancements in the business of sports. For instance, some countries in APAC are leaders in internet bandwidth, mobile, and 5G infrastructure, creating new opportunities to combine digital technology and content via IP networks and the cloud, creating new opportunities for both our broadcast technologies and our consumer-facing services.
APAC should continue to see high growth in the sports business. In addition to a large existing fan-base, internet, and mobile infrastructure continues to enable sports leagues to reach more fans, rising incomes in the region will enable more sports revenue overall.
Additionally, top global sports leagues are growing in popularity in the APAC region. For instance, South Korean and Japanese players have joined European football clubs, increasing the popularity of European leagues in Asia. As athletes and teams further develop along with technology and incomes, sports revenues in APAC are poised to grow faster than in other regions.