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Almost half of sport organisations “disappointed with OTT results”

"Successful OTT distribution is by no means a walk in the park"

Almost half of sport organisations are disappointed with the results of deploying OTT platforms, PricewaterhouseCoopers has found.

PwC’s Sports Survey 2019 surveyed 590 sport leaders across 49 countries, 45 of whom said that OTT results have fallen below expectations.

The report offered a number of examples of rights owners teaming up with tech companies to deliver online content, including:

  • Facebook, Netflix and Amazon have released original content with properties such as Formula 1 and the NFL
  • TikTok has also entered the scene with high-profile partnerships including one with Borussia Dortmund
  • DAZN has continued its relentless acquisition of premium content
  • Rights owners have partnered with hybrid organisations like 433 or COPA90, blending agency and content production work with large social media followings

PwC suggested that the limited sharing of data should be cause for concern, citing Disney’s bundling of ESPN into the Disney+ platform as “a stark reminder” that a few players are consolidating control in the sector. The study also noted the mixed results of rights owners launching their own OTT platforms.

“Sports leaders tell us that successful OTT distribution is by no means a walk in the park and has been commercially underwhelming to date,” said the report. “We see OTT as a potentially impactful, albeit non-essential part of understanding your audience through a holistic fan engagement strategy.”

Eurovision Sport executive director Stefan Kürten added: “Sports federations should carefully reflect if future OTT income will balance out with reduced revenues from traditional media due to reduced exclusivity, as well as the costs to develop, maintain and run an OTT solution with the same quality standard.”