Although viewers demand a high-quality service
Research from Verizon Media has revealed that there could be significant opportunities for sports streaming platforms in the current market.
Conducted with over 5,000 fans across the US, UK, France, Germany, and Holland, 63% of the respondents said that they would be open to paying more for a sports streaming service if it offers coverage of a league or team that interests them.
Meanwhile, only 47% of respondents with a premium subscription replied that they feel it offers them access to all of the teams that they want to watch. This could be a sign that there is plenty of space for growth in the market.
However, there is still pressure on streaming platforms to offer a high-quality, affordable service. 37% of fans said that they had cancelled a streaming service, with 45% of them citing cost as the reason. 23% said that a lack of teams they follow was the cause, 15% because of a hard-to-use interface, and 19% for too much of a lag behind the live games.
Fans also appear to be looking for extra control and interactivity with coverage, with 35% wanting access to replay controls such as slow motion, 30% wanting to be able to switch camera angles, and 30% the ability to skip adverts.
Supporters also seem interested in access to non-live content too, with 42% wanting match highlights, and 22% access to an on-demand library.
Chief product officer at Verizon Media, Ariff Sidi, said of the results: “There is a huge opportunity for content providers to reshape the entire landscape of live sports by offering more choice and deeper coverage of specific teams. There is the potential to build global audiences around niche sports and leagues that don’t currently get enough airtime, but to do so they must employ the latest and most flexible technology resources.”
He added on the demand for extra features and quality: “The industry talks a lot about streaming services being ‘TV-like’ but sports fans actually want a different experience that puts them in total control. Streaming services are much more capable of innovating because they have the luxury of using advanced technology that can serve every consumer need from day one.”
There has been growing interest in live streaming live sport, with major players such as Amazon Prime Video entering the market in recent years. This season saw the Premier League stream a game week online for the first time, with the Boxing Day fixtures available on Amazon Prime Video. There has also been some talk of the Premier League creating its own OTT service, which would likely involve live streaming if it came to fruition.