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Sports as the Video Experience Innovator

 February 2017

At Accedo, we see all kinds of customers and all kinds of requirements. One of the things I’m annoyed with is that so many of our VOD customers are just referencing Netflix when they imagine their own video experience. The argument goes that “they’re the global market leader so they must be best”. At Accedo, we don’t necessarily agree with this. Just because Toyota Corolla is the most sold car doesn’t mean that everyone else wants to provide the same car experience.

This is why I find it very refreshing and inspiring to discuss with sports companies and other rights holders. They have a clear view of target segments and how and why different sports content is consumed. For us as a video experience company, this provides us exactly with the direction we need to deliver exceptional services which can evolve over time into a key part of their strategy.

I think there are two main reasons for this. First, they don’t have Netflix clouding the picture as a perceived benchmark. Instead, sports rights are notoriously fragmented and it’s typically very difficult to find someone else who has the exact same rights

and competitive situation. Second, sports is campaign based with a seasonal structure. I think this provides the right internal focus and desire to focus on true innovation between the seasons. New rights are signed, it's possible to bring services off line for maintenance and there is time to identify and evaluate customer segmentation and new business models.

One example is our Australian customer Fox Sports. It realised that it could, relatively cheaply, pick up the rights for AFL outside of Australia, providing it with an opportunity to experiment with a new direct to consumer offering, without the need of partnering with TV operators. The target segment, Australians sports fans abroad, is also well defined and quite price insensitive, which simplifies and focuses marketing spend. Video experience Innovation is not necessarily about launching new features or on new devices, but just as much repackaging of business models and rights to new customer segments.

I personally believe that sports will be a centre for OTT video experience innovation the coming 2-3 years. At Accedo, we’re excited to be working with customers to deliver on the promise of the future sports experience.

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