The FA and LaLiga on rights holders’ OTT future

By 12th November 2020 November 13th, 2020 No Comments

Keegan Pierce, international development UK&I, La Liga, and Matt Brown, broadcast product manager, The FA, were speaking at the Broadcast Sport Tech Innovation Forum

FA broadcast product manager Matt Brown and La Liga international development, UK&I, Keegan Pierce have spoken on the importance of OTT platforms for rights holders and the possibility that they could sideline linear TV in the future.

Talking at the Broadcast Sport Tech Innovation Forum, the pair both highlighted the importance of OTT in an evolving industry – but there was the caveat that smaller sports may need to look at bundling together in the future.

Pierce pinpointed simply understanding the space as a reason to have an OTT offering now. La Liga currently has La Liga Sports TV as its offering, which contains largely non-football content.

“This is not a change that we’re going to see day to day,” he said.”It’s a strategic imperative for any rights holder to understand the OTT space. Increasingly your product is going to be seen in OTT platforms, and you need to know how to design your product for that.

“You need to have your own knowledge of how an OTT ecosystem works. No rights holder is well positioned for the new era if they have pull an OTT service off the shelf.

“There is going to be a shift coming, but it is not going to be a shift overnight.”

Brown agreed on the importance, but did point out that rights holders of smaller sports may need to group together rather than go it alone. The FA’s OTT offering is the FA Player, which includes women’s and youth football.

“I agree, gaining expertise in this space is important,” he added. “But it’s not for everyone, its not straightforward… it’s not cheap.

“In the current climate people’s budgets are being squeezed. While bigger sports might have budget for these tools, a lot of smaller sports are grouping together – and that bundling is inevitable.

However, he also warned: “There is a place for dedicated products with single offerings, because they can bring user much closer to the sport. If bundling were to happen which I’m sure it inevitably will do, that detail of the live experience won’t be available.”

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