While you may know that OTT continues to rise in popularity and would appear to be the future of the way we view TV, movies and concerts; did you know that sports content is right up there when it comes to identifying the major OTT providers?
Recent research by Parks Associates revealed that MLB.tv was fourth in the list of providers by subscriber numbers, behind the big three of Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. WWE Network was close behind in the fifth spot. Ironically WWE Network actually outsources all of its OTT live streaming to MLB Advanced Media, and it seems to be working. The Network secures around $150 million annually from 1.23 million subscribers.
What are the challenges that sports OTT providers face?
It seems that sports OTT provision is a profitable arena to enter, but that does not mean it’s without challenges.
The challenge of saturation point
Right now there are definitely opportunities in sports OTT provision, but as the appetite for content continues to grow, especially amongst the younger generation, more providers will take advantage of the situation. There is a risk of certain sports provision reaching saturation point. In order to meet this challenge providers will need to find a way to deliver content that covers an untapped niche.
The challenge of piracy
Although much work has been done to reduce the amount of piracy that exists, it is still out there and probably always will be. It is difficult to compete against piracy on that level. If people want to view content free of charge and are not worried about the quality of the content, then they will seek out pirated content.
The secret of succeeding in the legal world of OTT is to provide a high level of quality and to charge competitive subscription rates. It’s also important to reward viewer loyalty with free content and upgrades. Do all of that, and find the right niche, and you stand a good chance of succeeding in the world of sports OTT provision.