Linear To Digital To D2C

October 29, 2021

iSportConnect’s Commercial Director Brandon Garcia says we should all be embracing the tech revolutions around sport as they fly into our world.

Imagine being able to immerse yourself in the play right from your home, to the left point toward your favourite player’s stats, your preferred replay angle, to right away purchasing the team’s t-shirt, a burger offer, an NFT collectible from Ronaldo’s hat trick.

It’s all possible and coming faster than we could ever have imagined – it’s time for us all to embrace it.

NFT deals are happening with extreme regularity, but this is just the beginning, eventually they will be everywhere. While it may seem like there have been a huge amount of deals done within the NFT space in recent times, there is still so much of the industry that is not covered, particularly outside of the major sports.

Let us think of Direct-to Consumer (D2C) as the most transformative shift in broadcasting for this generation.

The industry has now all the tools, OTT is now becoming cheap with many platforms offering a plethora of rights, high performing cloud solutions to have content ready before you blink, and 5G connectivity to feel the experience better than on a sunny day at the Wimbledon, we have virtual merchandising and the digital art collections – we have it all.

It is now, however, becoming a much greater challenge for those who are not in the mainstream of sport to get coverage and yet, at the same time, through all of this technology they are more accessible than ever before.

The majority of TV deals are covered by the major leagues but through the advancements technologically it is now much easier for smaller sports to be able to broadcast themselves in order to keep their fans engaged.

Before now, unless you were in attendance at these matches there would little to no ways of seeing them, maybe somebody with a camera would have recorded a couple of clips or taken some pictures, now you can often get live updates from most games.

Social media’s part in this cannot be ignored as well when we talk about D2C, it has allowed the communication channels between clubs, leagues and organisations to the fan to be so much more direct.

As we have seen very clearly it has maximised this with players and fans too, for the better most would say but this is not without its issues.

But back to rights and the curiosity still remains, how will premium rightsholders take this opportunity and become a media business in their own right, the Premier League have already mentioned potentially creating their own OTT channel, who will be bold enough to take this huge step and move away from the major broadcasters.

And does this all translate into a mega opportunity for the federations who have never produced content to engage and grow a new fanbase?

Not too long a wait to see.