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The statistics are in, and online video is booming!

The State of Video Marketing 2021 report, explored people’s video watching behaviour across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tiktok, Snapchat, webinars and websites. It found that people now watch an average of 16 hours of online video per week! That’s a 52% increase in the last two years.

For sports rights holders, the task of ensuring large audiences receive a top-quality viewing experience when watching live events remains challenging.

This is especially true in an over-the-top (OTT) environment where end users have come to expect broadcast-quality streams with minimal latency across any and all connected devices - from mobile phones and tablets to desktop browsers, gaming consoles and smart TVs.

Multi screen online video

There is a desire to increase the range of information available to viewers during live streams. This includes having streams that show multiple camera angles, data feeds, audio tracks advertising and other overlays that augment the main feed in order to help create a more engaging and immersive experience.

From a fan perspective, short-form news, recap, highlights and Q&A content are highly sought out by Gen Z consumers. From a growth perspective, long-form original series and interactive event content around gaming, contests and raffles will be critical in attracting younger consumers who are not yet engaged.

Channel highlights

The proliferation of content across platforms has also sparked increased consumption of additional sports content—both related to and not related to live matches.

This gives sports rights holders multiple opportunities; and it sheds light on the growing importance of sports-related content, especially among younger fans.

For example, as detailed in the Nielsens Media report, just under 44% of fans 16-29 who watch non-live sports content that’s related to live matches do so via digital.

Sport ott content

As detailed in the Nielsens Media report, for sports rights holders, investment in both live and non-live content distribution is an important step in meeting Gen Z fans where they want to consume content.

In Spain, for example, La Liga, the country’s top soccer league, has recently (April 2022) launched its own streaming service, “LaLigaPass. This platform includes highlights, interviews, press conferences as well as live and on-demand matches in certain territories.

The continuing advancement of OTT technology is opening up new opportunities to deliver a consistent, broadcast-like viewing experience that maximises engagement regardless of device or location or level.

As sports rights holders continue to unbundle their media and marketing rights; assets that can be sponsored have increased x3 over the last five years. While the number of sponsorable assets has increased significantly, the ratio of branding rights versus activation rights has remained largely unchanged. Rights holders are effectively targeting untapped opportunities by creating new and more personalised solutions based on brand objectives.