By José Somolinos, Senior UX Product Manager, Accedo
With the 2018 FIFA World Cup predicted to have a global audience of at least 3.4 billion and the TV broadcast rights revenue, alone, for FIFA for the 2015-2018 cycle topping US $3 billion, we are reminded just how big an investment the ‘beautiful game’ is.
Football is, however, just one sport and it is well documented that sports fans in general are significantly more likely subscribe to a Pay TV service. However, with the increasing number of direct to consumer/ OTT streaming sports services from broadcasters and rights owners including ESPN, Turner Sports and NBC Sports, the question arises as to just how can operators and video service providers compete with sports content?
Here are five fail-safe ways to transform your video experience to attract and keep sports fans:
- Create a dedicated sports application
Traditionally, sports is simply added to the roster of movies, TV shows, news and other 3rd party channels in the hope that fans will find what they are looking for from the main menu on their TV. With the advent of OTT, rights owners and operators now can create stand-alone sports services and applications. The granulation of the content within the service depends on the type of sport and the rights owned, however, dedicated sports apps for premium events such as the FIFA World Cup, the Olympics, Golf and Tennis events for example, are becoming common-place.
A great example is the Rio app we at Accedo created with NBC Sports on Fire TV, Samsung TVs, Windows 10 devices and Xbox. NBC Sports subscribers had unlimited access to featured content, live, streamed programming, upcoming event news and insights, action replays and featured content. They could also use filters to easily find their preferred type of sport.
- Create a second-screen application
Second screen applications are another great way to enhance the experience of the audiences. Creating an application that is made to be used during a race or event is a great way to win the loyalty of users and to attract them to come back for every event, as well a possibility of creating new revenue opportunities. Here is an illustration of Accedo’s second-screen AR experience that gives fans of long-distance sports events a birds-eye view. You can read more here.
- Get personal
Films and TV shows share an almost standard way to navigate and present the content. For sports, however, there are more variables depending on the type of sport and competition. It is therefore quite a challenge to personalise an OTT sports service on an individual basis when all teams and players are equal and have, in theory, the same possibilities to win the competition. That is unless you know a little more about your audience and therefore which team should be prioritised. One good hack for ascertaining the popularity of players and competitions amongst your fan-base so that services can be personalised, is to conduct a survey, just after the registration, where the fans prioritise the teams and/or players they want to follow.
The app should dynamically display in preference the content tagged by the fan/viewer together with the generic curated sections with the most important news of the other teams.
- Use a dynamic user experience
It is obvious that live streaming is a requirement for any sport video application. However, there is great value to be had by offering catch up services, fanbase content, on demand viewing of press conferences, player interviews and news. The attention from the users changes depending on which day or even which hour they are in the app. Before a game, we like to watch news related to the event like fan base videos or press-conferences.
During the event there shouldn’t be anything different than the live stream pushed to all the fans, some services even replace the full home screen navigation by a live video player. Once a game is over, the real estate of the app should be used for post-game interviews and catch-up highlights. It is therefore imperative to have all a dynamic user experience within your sports applications, which can be easily adapted to whatever piece of content is relevant at any given moment.
- Invest in a proven, scalable and easy to use OTT solution to transform and grow your video experiences for sports
Building a compelling sports video experience and application is one thing, extending it to multiple platforms and dynamically managing it to get the best results is quite another.
Accedo together with partners, Brightcove recognised the need for a turn-key OTT solution that lowers the technical complexity and go-to-market barriers associated with launching beautiful, multi-platform OTT services, including those for sports. Together we created OTT Flow X comprising Brightcove Video Cloud providing the backbone of the solution, and Accedo Studio Pro enabling the creation of unique, branded video experiences and applications across all devices and platforms.
In conclusion, whether you decide to create a dedicated, stand-alone OTT sports service or a companion app to increase engagement with your TV sports viewers, you need to ensure you have a dynamic a sophisticated turnkey OTT solution in place to help you scale and personalise your video experience to win the hearts and minds of sports fans. OTT Flow X, created by Accedo and partners, Brightcove, provides operators, broadcasters, brands and content owners with increased UX flexibility, to facilitate complex integrations and deliver OTT sports services to major platforms including mobile, smart TVs and game consoles. In addition, OTT Flow X supports subscription and advertising funded business models, including TVE authentication.
Learn more how Accedo can transform your video experience for sports here.