Mobile Sports

As a follow up to some of the broadcasting articles I came across during the Vancouver Winter Olympics for the daily posts here on this blog (shameless promotion for one of my own Olympics posts here), I downloaded a recent report from eMarketer to learn more about how the availability of sports events online.

Paid Sports Content: Let’s Go To The Video Stream” was published February 2010. The overarching trend covered in the report is that sports leagues and organizations are gradually moving their business models to accommodate the wishes of their fans, who want–and often are willing to pay for–streaming content online. Indeed, in the case of the major American sports leagues, Major League Baseball was first to offer online streaming and has since been fine tuning its offerings–for nearly a decade. Other leagues can benefit from what MLB has learned in that time period.

Key Takeaways

  • Revenues from broadcast, satellite and cable TV rights are a big deal. (For the NFL, for instance, broadcast rights net nearly 50% of total revenue.) So leagues have to be careful not to cannibalize these sources.
  • But streamed content can be a revenue source too. (About 50% of 2008 revenue, for instance, came from subscriptions.)
  • Ad-supported streaming is best suited for mainstream or broad-audience supported events.
  • Team-oriented sports work better with a paid subscription model. (We certainly saw the former with the Olympics. But keep in mind, per past posts, not all the Olympic sports were available for streaming as audiences perhaps had hoped.)

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