Sports Broadcasting Streaming Shake Up
Live streaming shakes up sports broadcasting market in the UK.
12:35 07 August 2018
Live streaming services are posing serious threat to subscription-based TV services, as more and more viewers are demanding more flexible options as to how they consume sports content.
Based on recent figures, the number of people subscribing to pay-TV services, such as Virgin Media and Sky, has been slowly decreasing over the past few years as many viewers refuse to commit to costly, fixed-term monthly subscriptions with cable and digital providers. This need is being taken advantage of the likes of Netflix and Amazon whose subscription plans can be cancelled with as little as a month’s notice.
With the proliferation of tablets, smartphones and reliable broadband services, many firms are now trying to get into the game and offer sports content. Recently, Amazon has won the rights to show Premier League Football and it will begin streaming 20 live matches across two match days over the festive period.
Dr Rob Wilson, a sport finance specialist at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “The reason why Amazon has got involved in the Premier League is to test the market capability to see whether subscriber numbers are potentially going to be there or not.”
“Also they need to see whether they can stream HD quality matches to a good standard. “If they can, I think we will see the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter going for the TV rights when they go up for sale in a few years.”
“I also expect to see the packages getting broken up in the future. “If you want to watch one particular team, for example Leeds United, you could buy a subscription to watch all their games or individually.
“The younger demographic could pay £5 or £6 to watch that certain Leeds game and I think that’s where it will ultimately go.”