Following the announcement of the global launch of Discovery’s new D2C platform Discovery Plus, analyst Paolo Pescatore tells TVBEurope the streamer has a “once in lifetime opportunity to leverage the broad appeal of the Olympics in driving subscriber uptake in Europe”.
“This is a big coup for the company and timing could not be any better,” adds Pescatore.
During the official launch, Discovery CEO David Zaslav revealed the broadcaster intends to make the new SVoD the new streaming home of the Olympic Games in Europe and Eurosport’s premium sport offering.
Eurosport will launch on Discovery Plus in 2021 in territories where the broadcaster already offers live sport on its dplay streaming service, including Denmark, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. There will be a phased approach to other markets in Europe joining and all are expected to do so by Paris 2024.
Discovery added until the new streaming platform launches and Eurosport is introduced onto that service in a market, the Eurosport Player will continue as it does today in that territory.
Pescatore says the decision to include the Olympics to Discovery Plus “feels like the writing is on the wall” for Eurosport Player.
“With sport and the nature of live programming, there’s an argument to keep the Eurosport Player as a standalone service,” he adds. “It is something that the company needs to carefully consider as it harmonises towards one brand. While users certainly do not want fragmentation, do the core audiences of Discovery want one big bundle of brands and channels? The punchy price point which is considerably less than some rivals will help the decision making process.”
The big question remains, can Discovery Plus stand out in an already extremely busy market? “The video streaming market is awash with too many services chasing too few dollars,” admits Pescatore. At launch, it appears the streamer’s key selling point will be its content line-up rather than any innovation around the service. Pescatore says he expects that will likely come in time.
“It feels like a very well thought out service in terms of pricing, service offering, key markets and distribution,” he adds. “Paramount to adoption will be telco partners including Verizon in the US, Telecom Italia in Italy and of course Sky in other key European markets. Expect to see more deals during 2021.”
Discovery also confirmed the D2C service will be available as both AVoD and SVoD options. Pescatore says the decision to offer different price options is a smart move. “This allows Discovery the ability to cater for different audiences in any given market as well as being flexible in adapting the service over time.”