Why OTT has set out to secure exclusive sports broadcasting rights
Dramas, entertainment shows, and movies are not the end. Now it’s a ‘sport’. The OTT industry has started to secure exclusive sports broadcasting rights. Teabing expanded the scope of its content to include sports while broadcasting live Euro 2020, the UEFA soccer championship, and the 2021 French Open, the four major tennis tournaments. The Asian final qualifier for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which will be held from September this year, is also scheduled to be broadcast. Coupang Play also caught up with sports. The Premier League Tottenham Hotspur match, the Korean men’s soccer team World Cup 2nd qualifying round, the 2021 Copa America match, and the soccer Olympic team evaluation match were 스포츠중계 live.
Securing sports broadcasting rights requires huge capital. Still, why is OTT so engrossed in winning sports broadcasting rights? Let’s pay attention to what Netflix said two years ago. In 2019, Netflix announced that it would not enter the advertising business or sports broadcasting in the future. It was the confidence of Netflix that took the ‘Throne’ with the potential of original content without any sports content. Soon, sports broadcasts were seen as Netflix’s ‘windless zone’. As the OTT industry jumped into the real-time sports broadcast area that Netflix had no influence on, it started to secure users.
Effective in attracting new user base
Sports content serves to attract a variety of viewers. Until now, OTT’s main target has been female users in their 20s and 30s who prefer entertainment or dramas. Teabing’s reason for choosing sports was ‘to find content that everyone was interested in’. As Euro 2020 was broadcast, the number of young male users increased. According to the mobile big data platform Mobile Index, during Euro 2020, the proportion of male viewers in their 20s and 30s was 16.44%, up from 14.49% in the previous month. Due to the nature of sports content that is often found, users can even get a lock-in effect. Teabing, who has confirmed the potential of sports content, is aiming to attract additional users by securing the exclusive domestic broadcasting rights of the German professional football Bundesliga matches, which will start in August.
The reason sports live broadcasting appeared on the OTT platform, which has the characteristic of viewing desired content at a convenient time, is because of the ‘real-time’ nature of sports only. As many contents including original contents were incorporated into OTT, the concept of ‘broadcast shooter’ disappeared, but sports are different. You have to watch the game as it goes on. It’s not fun to watch a game knowing the results. Therefore, the preference for real-time broadcasting is evident in sports events. Sports videos, which are content that are already in high demand for real-time viewing, have been considered as a weapon that telecommunication companies and portals can fight against OTT such as Netflix. It was in the same vein that OTTs operated by domestic telecommunication companies broadcast professional baseball and professional golf. Now, as the OTT industry, which used to compete with original content or built-up content, begins to win sports broadcasting rights, another competitive landscape has opened.
In March, Laura Martin, an analyst at Global Investment Bank (IB) Needham, spoke about the potential for Netflix’s growth slowdown in an interview and pointed out that Netflix’s vulnerability to sports broadcasts and news programs were a problem. He said that sports broadcasting are “one of the core competencies that induce subscribers to services in the large-scale entertainment category.” In fact, it is reported that Netflix, who said that it will not be included in sports broadcasting, signed an online broadcasting right contract for the first division of French professional football in the 2020-21 season last year and made it possible to watch the game live only in France if you pay an additional amount.
Global OTTs are also expanding the scope of sports content. Amazon, which succeeded in the paid membership system through OTT service, is a representative example. Amazon, which has been locking users in Amazon Prime Video, its own OTT, while broadcasting large sports events such as the US Open and the English Premier League, invested 11 billion dollars (about 12 trillion won) in the American Football Federation and played a popular American football league game to be broadcast for 10 years. Last month, it even secured the rights to broadcast the French League 1. Disney Plus, which announced its landing in Korea in the second half of this year, also has a sports channel ESPN. If you pay an additional fee, you can watch ESPN Plus, which broadcasts American professional basketball, as a bundled product.