Unlock New Revenue Streams from Live Sports Service

September 28, 2021 •
Eva Webster

No matter what your specific sport is, no matter what type of league you operate, you need a steady flow of cash to keep it going. Your live streaming sports and OTT, while often seen as a way to bring in and retain customers, can become, in and of itself, a revenue creator. And it expands your fan base globally, including outside of your home market.

There are, of course, the tried-and-true methods. Advertising breaks and product placements are a well-established (and effective) strategy for generating revenue from your sporting events and OTT video. But there are other, more creative, ways for a sports business to generate income from live Streaming and PPV and create more revenue from micro-transactions, merchandise sales, ads, brand deals, and sponsorships.

Here are four proven ideas to generate new streams of revenue from your sports streaming.

  1. Fan Subscriptions
  2. PPV for Live Events
  3. Video on Demand
  4. Merchandise Sales

Fan Subscriptions

What if you could create a continual flow of monthly income from your live streaming OTT? By creating fan subscriptions to your exclusive sports streaming, you can build a foundation of revenue while strengthening the connection between you and your customers. Subscriptions can complement any linear TV deal; in markets where you have a TV contract, subscriptions can be additive, while digital access lets you reach fans in any market, including those where you aren’t otherwise available. Subscribing customers will feel a special connection with your league and its athletes, building an even stronger brand while increasing fan engagement and providing a platform for further revenue-producing actions (ticketing, e-commerce, etc.).

Fans like to see sports in many different formats. From television subscriptions to streaming to mobile viewing, there are many ways that fans consume sports, but it appears that smartphone devices have become the dominant platform for consuming sports content, although watching on a larger screen remains popular. As per Center for the Digital Future at USC Annenberg and ThePostGame 63% of sports fans are willing to pay for an all-sports channel. Smart franchises are taking advantage of this trend. The NFL, for example, has signed a media deal worth over $100 billion, a deal that includes both broadcasters and streaming services. COVID-19 has fed this digital content trend, as there will be incremental growth of $519.83 billion according to technavio.

Paid Access to Live Events (Pay-Per-View Model)

According to a report from MSN, the recent Mayweather vs. Paul boxing fight, an exhibition match between a retired legend and a hard-slugging Youtube celebrity, generated roughly 1 million pay-per-view buys. At $50 a buy, you’re looking at $50 million (give or take) in generated income from pay-per-view buys alone. Of course, this wasn’t all profit, but it’s certainly a large windfall of cash.

You may not be able to produce that much buzz for streaming your live event , but it shows the breathtaking potential for a well-promoted, well-executed sporting event. Create an event, build a buzz, and reap the revenue.

Live streaming is a wonderful revenue source. The live streaming industry is expected to be valued at 184.27 billion USD by 2027 (Tech Jury, 2020), and sporting events currently account for 86% of live-streamed content (99 Firms, 2019). Also, half of sports broadcasters say that latency poses a challenge when streaming real-time sports events (Digital TV Europe, 2019) and in 2021, there are expected to be roughly 383 million SVOD subscriptions worldwide (Techjury, 2020). Clearly there is massive potential from streaming.

Video on Demand

Most sports brands make the match, game, or events highlights available to subscribers, creating another incentive for people to sign up for and maintain a subscription. With VOD, fans are able to browse through the matches and watch whenever they want, creating a high level of interaction between viewers and the fans.

According to GM Insights, the video-on-demand market was roughly $55 billion in 2019, and it’s expected to grow at a rate of about 15% from 2020 to 2026. Using 2019 as a base year, the study expects massive increases in subscriptions; leagues can take advantage of this increase by offering video-on-demand highlights and analysis.

Merchandise Sales

The market size for merchandise sales is staggering. Statista, one of the leaders in market and consumer data, says that the North American sports merchandise market was worth over $14 billion in 2018 alone. At the time of their release, they predicted the market would be worth $15.43 billion by 2023. If sports leagues can capitalize on a small fraction of that sum, they will create a significant revenue stream.

Information from Transparency Market Research supports this general trend. They say that the CAGR of licensed sports merchandise market revenue share will grow by 6.5% between 2019 and 2027. By the end of 2027, the market could rise to $58.7 billion, according to their findings. Creating a consistent flow of hats, shirts, and collectibles could propel a sport’s leagues profitability.

Enhance Your Sports Video Streaming with ViewLift

If you want to enhance your live streaming OTT and provide seamless access and a world-class viewing experience for your customers, contact the team at ViewLift today. COVID has changed the viewing experience, but you can expect live streaming to be very important in the post-COVID world.

With decades of experience in the industry, we can help you create a viewing platform that brings paying customers to your streaming, time and time again!