D2C Lausanne Member Insights

Our man in Lausanne: The challenges and opportunities for Sports Federations to adopt direct-to-consumer broadcasting solutions

January 25, 2023

With the emergence of new technologies such as video streaming, sports federations have unprecedented growth potential to reach fans, supporters, and spectators around the world by delivering direct-to-consumer broadcasting solutions.

However, in order to successfully implement a D2C broadcasting solution, Sports Federations must be prepared to face different challenges, on the other hand they can benefit from opportunities that can bring positive results.

Among the challenges are the complexity of the broadcasting landscape, with its various solutions, platforms, vehicles, and systems; and different countries’ laws and regulations regarding content broadcasting, which must be complied with.

The second challenge for international federations is to develop a financially viable and sustainable business model.

Broadcasting content is expensive and requires a significant upfront investment, making it necessary to create a business model that can generate revenue to cover costs.

Another challenge is the technical knowledge, specialised professionals, technological resources, and need for constant information updates that are required for successful broadcasting.

This represents a huge effort for the organisations, making it very difficult to apply; consequently, the efficiency and quality of the transmissions and content will be reduced. Most federations have few technical resources, including personnel, to manage this kind of solution; thus, requiring large investments in the short, medium, and long term to be sustainable.

Finally, sports federations must also be prepared to face the challenge of marketing their
content to a worldwide audience and must determine the best way to monetize their content,
either through subscription fees, advertising, or other means.

With so many different streaming platforms and services available, sports federations must identify the most effective ways to promote their content to the widest possible audience, this could involve partnering with digital agencies and companies, utilising social media, and leveraging other marketing techniques.

The challenges associated with implementing a direct-to-consumer streaming solution can be daunting, but the rewards can be great.

Sports federations around the world have the opportunity to reach a larger audience, increase their revenues, and expand their global reach.

By undertaking the effort necessary to understand the technology, legal considerations, and marketing potential, as well as establishing good partnerships with companies that provide this type of technology, sports federations can create a successful direct-to-consumer (D2C) broadcasting solution that benefits both them and their fans.

One opportunity is to create an international content repository. This would allow international federations to create a single source of content from around the world, making it easier for viewers to access content from multiple countries.

The creation of an international repository would reduce the cost of acquiring content and
the amount of time required to manage content rights.

Another opportunity is the creation of a global streaming platform, which would allow organisations to provide high-quality streaming services to viewers in multiple countries, eliminating the need for multiple streaming services for each country.

A global streaming platform could also facilitate content sharing between different federations, such as national federations, allowing organisations to leverage content from other federations to create a more robust and integrated content library while still respecting the peculiarities of each region or country.

By implementing a direct-to-consumer (D2C) solution, international federations can also consider the potential to leverage their existing relationships with broadcasters by becoming content providers rather than service providers. This would allow federations to exploit content rights and create broadcasting agreements that might not otherwise be available to them.

Another benefit is that broadcasters can also provide access to valuable resources, such as marketing and advertising, that can help organisations reach a larger audience.

By taking advantage of these opportunities, international federations can ensure that they remain competitive in the ever-evolving broadcasting landscape.

Broadcasting solutions for international sports federations can be an effective way to extend the reach of their sport beyond its traditional geographic boundaries. This can be done through live streaming or through established broadcast outlets.

By providing their content available to a wider audience, federations can raise awareness of their sport and reach a wider base of potential fans, as well as create new opportunities to increase advertising and publicity revenues.

Also, sports federations can improve the quality of their content. With the right broadcast solution, federations can provide fans with higher-quality content tailored to their specific interests, providing a more engaging broadcast experience.

This benefit meets the federations’ need to increase engagement with fans, spectators, and the community that follows the sport, as they have a direct channel to their own audience.

Finally, perhaps one of the biggest advantages of the direct-to-consumer broadcasting solution is the ability to capture data of all kinds, especially individual viewer data.

In traditional broadcasting, using third-party platforms, the audience data is under the ownership of the broadcasters, and as a result, the federations end up only having access to general audience statistics.

However, being the rights holder and having the ownership and management of the data of each person that accesses the content offered, federations can exploit this data in several ways, either to increase the relationship, or to establish new partnerships, especially with sponsors, or to develop specific projects for a certain group or segment of people.

Developing a direct-to-consumer solution for international sports federations is a complex but ultimately rewarding challenge. With the right technology, these federations can open up their sports to a wider audience, increase fan engagement, and strengthen their own financial stability.

Michel Cutait is a Senior Executive Sports Manager, lawyer and professor. He currently works as Deputy Secretary General at World Obstacle, institutional name Fédération Internationale de Sports d’Obstacles, the international governing body for obstacle sports (Obstacle Course Racing, Ninja and Adventure Racing) and related events, where he runs the Secretariat working actively in the areas of governance, membership, partnership, development and compliance. He also works as Strategy Advisor at the Brazilian Triathlon Confederation. Graduated in Law, has a Masters in Law in Brazil, Marketing in Australia and a Masters in Sports Administration and Technology at EPFL (AISTS) in Lausanne, Olympic Capital. He has written 5 books, the last one called Management Performance Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

D2C Lausanne Member Insights