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Opinion

How streaming has shaken up sports broadcasting in Australia

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Roar Guru
30th June, 2021
33

Four recent sporting competitions in Australia have moved to streaming services, these being the EPL to Optus, Super Rugby and the European Football Champions League to Stan and the A-League to Paramount.

Both rugby and football also have a free-to-air component as well.

Fox is also moving via Kayo into streaming as well.

While both streaming and subscription services share a common goal of attracting people to their platforms, from research I have looked at, they have different Key Performance Indicators.

The old way based on ratings – the more people that watched was the watershed indicator. This was largely driven by the price and if you paid the subscription fees then you tended to be a watcher and many watched a number of games.

Streaming of sport has followed in many ways other streaming services.

Key to the success of streaming is price and time.

If you pay say $10.00 per month, then it’s not a lot and you can opt in only to what you want.

Optus is the perfect example. It closely mirrors US streaming patterns. Not many people watch the EPL from midnight to dawn on Sunday and Monday mornings.

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Rather you get up and when the time suits watch what you want in the format you want i.e. goals, five-minute highlights, 24-minute highlights, 44-minute highlights or the full match.

Further, you can go back and watch again or show friends what you like.

Optus like US streaming services are after overall numbers. They don’t care if you watch one minute per month or hours per day live.

Stan said early on the Super Rugby had added 150K subscribers to their platform. Optus have given figures of close to a million to their sports streaming service.

The essential difference is the new watcher has far more alternatives than before and the watcher more wants the ability to drop in and drop out as they please. Traditional and more expensive models have people watching live and often for longer periods of time.

The difference is subscription numbers in streaming, and live ratings for subscriptions.

Moreover, streaming reflects the changing viewing habits and preferred ways people today want to watch their chosen sport.

Paramount streaming figures will be interesting to watch.

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Whether it’s Optus, Stan, Paramount or Fox adjusting their broadcast model or another streaming service provider, we seem headed towards overall numbers as the key measurement a code can bring to a streaming service provider.

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