Over the next few years, some of the biggest deals in sports broadcasting across many sporting events are set to expire and opening the door for many to make a change – where some have already done so, such as Rugby which can now be found on Amazon Prime for example, others have had little opportunity to move away from the cable deals that they’ve been tied in to for a decade. But could this mean big changes are on the way for the way we watch sporting, or will we see more of the same for another decade?
There’s still some reliance on broadcasting deals
Perhaps one of the bigger sticking points for the existing broadcasting options is just how much money they bring the different clubs each year. A fee is paid when broadcasting is done on the home ground, and this could total tens of millions per year – if alternative services can’t offer a similar amount, it may be harder for the clubs to move away from such a huge cashflow. Whilst a big upfront offer could offset this somewhat, it is certainly a consideration before big change happens.
Everything else is moving online, however
Perhaps the big point to contradict this, however, is that everything else is quickly moving online from markets that directly support the size of different sporting events such as betting as punters turn to online services as you can place your first bet with bet365 on the biggest online bookies, right through to the fan forums and chatrooms spread across the internet.
As cord cutting continues and cable TV slowly fades out, being tied into another long broadcasting partnership could have a dramatic impact on viewership as fans expect an online presence and would seem strange to not be able to deliver this.
An outcry for cheaper, all-inclusive services
The other big factor that could push many to make the change too is that recent years have led to a greater push for cheaper services that are more inclusive of all content – the big push from streaming services meant that TV and Movie were all under one roof, and whilst there is a problem now with exclusive content being spread out, it remains quite different from the hundreds of different sports packages that are made available for TV.
This leads many to hope that live sporting can transition to one of the big streaming services and do away with having multiple connections required for different sports, or different leagues, and bring everything under a cheaper and more inclusive service.
For many, it does seem like there is little choice but to offer something more modern and more accessible – whilst in many instances viewer numbers have stayed steady or even increased, there’s no guarantee that this will remain true without a more robust online option, and it does seem the only answer will be to either sign a new deal with an existing online platform, or go the way of some other entertainment options and create their own.