The appetite for live streaming of sports continues to grow. One of the big areas where this can be seen is the live streaming of international football. The amount of Internet traffic grew to 222 petabytes between the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups. For the 2014 World cup, HBS delivered 2,799,360 minutes of live video streams via tech provider EVS. Coverage was provided to both desktop and mobile web.
You may be wondering what this has to do with sports that are less popular than football, and other major players such as NFL. The thing with niche sports is that they still have an audience and the appetite for live video streaming means that you can offer a service to fans and monetize your content effectively.
Why does live streaming make sense for less popular sports?
Niche sports want to get their content out to the fans they have, as well as attempting to increase their fan base. According to a survey by Clearlap, almost half of people who watched more than one sport would watch their favourite sport by streaming online content. You can clearly see the potential for any sport to take advantage of an online audience. You can provide fans of your team or organisation with a means of keeping engaged, even if they are not able to attend events in person. This can be especially advantageous in the case of away fixtures when locally based fans may find it more affordable to watch online than to travel great distances. From my experience, when covering streams from 2-tier sports, usually the true fans of local teams are connected in strong community and are ready to support their team in any occasion, including cheering while watching a live stream.
Another major point of live streaming for more niche sports, such as kickboxing, hockey and college sports is the second screen option. Viewers can augment the viewing experience by watching supplementary content on a second device. This content can include, live statistics, comments, team interviews and behind the scenes stories which help fans feel closer to the team. Providing content such as this actually encourages fans to subscribe to live stream events and spend some money for the team they love.
One of the biggest reasons why online live streaming makes sense for second tier sports is they tend to get less coverage on mainstream TV. This coverage is often restricted to the top leagues and the major sports. This gives second tier sports a great opportunity to gain the advantage in the video streaming market.
This is how operating in a niche sports market can actually be advantageous. There is a danger of coverage of the big name sports becoming saturated whereas coverage for lesser known sports is not as common. You, therefore have the advantage of less competition.
Monetizing your live sports content
One of the most important aspects to consider when streaming live sports content is monetization. You need to ensure that you offer the best package and exclusive content to attract and retain viewers. This may be by offering pay per view options, or by providing a subscription service. You may also want to offer incentives to viewers, such as free content after they have watched a certain number of games.
Providers like InPlayer work with clients to provide a simple to use, highly customizable, monetization system. We can provide all of the hosting services you need including OVP, CMS, affiliation management and a reliable paywall for the effective monetization of your content. The InPlayer solution can be used on any device and supports a dozen of different languages. All currencies are supported and geo-blocking is active. Using a service like InPlayer enables you to maximise the returns you receive for your sports live streaming. You can contact our sales team firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more or get a free consult.