Sports broadcast is not new to content publishers. Still, with the popularity of OTT streaming services, the sports broadcasting industry is experiencing a paradigm shift in how fans engage with content. Digital consumers prefer OTT streaming over linear. This trend encourages sports content owners to move to DTC OTT sports broadcasting platforms.
Let’s understand the shift from a fan’s perspective. A few years ago, you may have watched the NBA All-Star matches on TV. But your busy work schedule or a kid who needed attention often meant that you missed crucial match moments. But with the availability of OTT services, you can stay tuned to the game on any device, anywhere, as long as you have an active subscription and internet connectivity.
Sports Broadcasting Growth Trends
Statistics suggest the U.S. digital live sports streaming viewership will reach 90.7 million by 2025. Similarly, another report claims growth of the global live sports streaming industry at a CAGR of 24.64% between 2022 to 2030.
It is little surprise that content owners are exploring broadcasting sports OTT platforms as a profitable revenue stream.
But if you are still in a dilemma, this blog is for you. What is an OTT platform, and how to choose the best sports OTT tech stack? Let’s find out.
What is an OTT Platform?
OTT platform is a contemporary way to stream high-quality video-on-demand (VOD) services directly to consumers without any satellite connection. As traditional television viewership is shrinking, OTT platforms are becoming the better sports broadcasting alternative with improved video content distribution and monetization models.
Tech platforms like ViewLift enable sport content owners, media houses and sports clubs and leagues to create their own sports OTT services with their choice of monetization models on various devices like Roku, Vizio, etc., in addition to smartphones, tablets, and other connected devices.
Why livestream or go the OTT way for sporting events?
It’s a common question. There are many reasons favouring sports live streaming events. In recent years, fewer viewers venture out to stadiums for live matches. The pandemic fueled this trend, and it now seems like it’s here to stay. Cord-cutting is also a global phenomenon, with more and more audiences shifting away from linear TV channels .
To keep fans engaged, sports content owners are exploring new broadcasting avenues. Several have joined the OTT bandwagon. For instance, FIFA streamed the FIFA World cup 2022 on traditional TV as well as OTT platforms. Similarly, Lega Nazionale Pallacanestro (LNP) launched its sports OTT services with ViewLift.
But what are the key factors that make OTT and live stream broadcasts an excellent opportunity for sports content owners?
More power to local teams, more flexibility for viewers
Traditional broadcast demands that viewers must stay in front of their TV sets during their favourite matches. However, sport streaming over OTT extends the flexibility of watching any sport, at any time, on any device and from anywhere. This flexibility is one of the biggest driving factors of sports livestreams.
Stadiums filled with audiences come expensive, as does linear broadcast. This restricts the audience as well growth of smaller or local sporting events, teams and leagues. Sports with limited fanbases rarely get attention from organizers or linear TV channels.
But live streaming changes that, opening up opportunities for local sports and their audiences. As a result, sports with limited fanbases get attention from content publishers and garner more viewers. Niche streaming, rewind and forward features, the ease of catch missed matches at personal convenience and creation of sport centric communities – all these factors that extend more power to users.
Access to a broader audience base
Linear video streaming services like traditional TV have limited geographic reach due to restrictive partnerships. This is because most linear service providers have license content for specific geographies and time durations. OTT sports streaming services remove this barrier. Sports content owners can broadcast content over live streaming services beyond geographic boundaries without the hassle of licenses and paperwork.
Livestreaming sports benefit the audience, the content publisher and the sport. A broad audience gets the opportunity to stream their favourite sports, content publishers get more viewership, and games gain more eyeballs and popularity.
Opportunity to create original shoulder content
OTT providers can unleash possibilities for shoulder content. Post-match presentations, match analysis, players’ interviews, a peek into their lives and fitness routines keep fans engaged. OTT services also can engage viewers in active viewing. Viewers no longer remain mute spectators but share their views and feedback, participate in online polls and interact with fellow fans. Ultimately, sports brings people together. And interactive live streaming creates fan communities.
Attractive revenue opportunities
OTT sports platforms can monetize their content in various ways. For example, a variety of sport-centric content, merchandizing, flexible monetization models, and betting app integration make live streaming a profitable venture. In addition, sports associations, leagues and clubs unlock additional revenue-generating options with their sports content. In short, content owners can explore more creative ways to monetize through sports OTT streaming platforms.
In the coming section, we highlight how to select the best sports OTT platform provider.
How to choose the best sports OTT platform
Selecting the best sports OTT platform is difficult. Although the selection process is complex, it is worth analyzing your requirements in addition to platform features and pros-cons across sports OTT platforms.
Here are some of the vital features needed to run a successful sports OTT platform:
White label solutions
White label OTT platform providers like ViewLift allow content owners to control their branding and customer experience. By using a white label solution, they can create a fully customized platform that aligns with the brand and meets the specific needs of its viewers, like betting apps in regions they are legal, or other fan engagement opportunities. Additionally, it allows the content owner to make changes to the platform without being limited by the tech stack partner’s existing design templates.
Flexible monetization options
Sports OTT streaming platforms should offer multiple content monetization models like PPV, TVOD, AVOD, SVOD, and Hybrid. A diverse OTT monetization model helps sports OTT providers target viewers with differing price sensitivities.
For instance, some prefer subscriptions for the entire year, some viewers subscribe for particular games, and some like to stream only one specific match and don’t mind ads that come with it. With multiple monetization models, sports OTT services will attract all types of viewers.
Robust security options
We touched the security features above too. However, this is one of the critical selection parameters, so it is necessary to discuss this in detail here.
Your chosen OTT platform tech stack should be secure enough for users while also preventing piracy. For instance, ViewLift has stringent security options spanning digital rights management (DRM), watermarking, and token authorization, ultimately protecting the content owners’ rights.
Which OTT platform is the best for sports?
“What is the best streaming service for sports?” is yet another common question among content owners looking to join the OTT bandwagon. Ideally, the one that meets all your requirements is the best OTT sports platform provider for your business.
For instance, ViewLift offers an engaging sports video streaming experience to users. On one end, your viewers enjoy uninterrupted live video streaming on their devices, anytime and anywhere. On the other end, you get access to different monetization models like AVOD, PPC, SOD, Hybrid, FAST streaming, and more to build a profitable sports OTT platform.
Some unique ViewLift features that make it a cut above the rest include:
- Proven record of successful sports OTT services
- Excellent CMS system with content library management and personalized recommendation engine
- Enhanced video content protection with DRM
- Easy integration with betting apps
- In-depth analytics for content publishers to draw actionable insights to keep improving both content strategy and viewing experience
- In-built features to keep fans engaged, like highlights and clippings, low latency, shareability, rosters, event schedules and more
- Global CDN for cross-device content delivery
- Seamless launch of white label OTT platform under the content owner’s brand, with exclusive ownership rights and direct collaboration with advertisers
Final thoughts: Host & Stream your sports broadcast with ViewLift’s sports OTT platform
Live streaming of sporting events can be every content owners’ hit-or-miss proposition. But it is profitable when done right.
Fortunately, you, too, can become a part of this growing industry by launching your own sports OTT platform. You can reach a wider fan base, eliminate geographical barriers, earn ad revenue, and keep fans engaged with the right tech stack partnership.
And with ViewLift, you get to go to market in no time. You do not need any coding expertise with our self-serve OTT platform.
So start monetizing your sports content in days.
Request a demo and launch your OTT sports streaming platform today!