CEO POV - Table Tennis England and the NGB Question: Takeaways from Unofficial Partner Podcast
Last week, I took part in a podcast discussion with Adrian Christy, CEO at Table Tennis England, who Joymo has partnered with to develop TTE TV, a new direct-to-fan streaming service for the governing body.
This is a conversation that I have on a regular basis with senior figures at rights holders in sport and I’m delighted that through our editorial partnership with Unofficial Partner we were able to provide a platform for Adrian and Table Tennis England.
So much of what we see and hear in the sports industry focuses on the top of the pyramid and huge brands investing in sport but table tennis, and many other sports, have millions of fans and participants around the world but are unable to command media coverage that gives them the spotlight they, or their fans, deserve.
The quest to build and engage their audience is increasingly leading to the investment in streaming platforms, as part of broader digital strategies, and this discussion drills into the drivers for this trend the role Joymo is playing to help rights holders regain control of their IP and establish new commercial models that will enable them to sustain themselves for the long term.
You can read the key takeaways from the conversation below but I also urge you to listen to the episode in full.
Table Tennis England wants to connect with a bigger and broader audience. Table Tennis, like many other sports, is one people play, but don’t necessarily connect with. Streaming more live content increases the value proposition and can elevate the sport, and better engage that audience.
Table Tennis England is one of many governing bodies that face the challenge of not knowing who their casual fans are. Streaming, as a central part of the digital ecosystem, is the enabler to creating and distributing content that can make a difference and turn casual fans into engaged participants that Table Tennis England can create a profile of and actively target.
The passion of a table tennis fan is no different to that of a football, rugby or cricket fan. If you love sport, you live and breathe it, no matter the game. Outside of the most popular sports, many have been starved of the depth and breadth of coverage, particularly on terrestrial television. Governing bodies need to be more innovative and creative to share their content directly to fans but that needs investment. It’s a virtuous circle as more content can lead to a bigger audience and greater potential for commercial revenues.
It is increasingly clear that all sports (even football) need to adapt to modern consumption habits and if they don’t look to tweak competition formats, scoring systems, team formats and more, you will get left behind. Different formats are needed to grab attention. It’s not without risk or challenges but if you look at the success other sports have had (for example, T20 and The Hundred) the right product, at the right time, positioned in the right way can be transformational.
Table Tennis England is not signing up to a streaming platform with the expectation that it is going to provide an immediate silver bullet, and no rights holder should. There needs to be a realisation that it is part of a broad digital strategy and the first priority is to distribute more content and increase the total addressable audience. The content is the hook to engage more people and only once they are genuinely engaged can you focus on monetisation.
Find out more about Joymo’s long-term partnership with Table Tennis England to build and maintain a new 'Home of Table Tennis’ streaming platform, broadcasting a selection of Table Tennis England’s biggest and best events, here.