The Rise of OTT – A Special Report by UIPM and Vindicia

April 27, 2016

The production of OTT (Over-The-Top) content in sport is growing at a rapid speed and has become a real commodity in the industry. Different sports appear to be acquiring OTT platforms by the week and this is changing the sporting landscape.

The OTT option has created a new revenue stream for sport organisations that they cannot ignore and many haven’t.

One sports organisation who has recently adopted the OTT model is the International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM), who launched UIPM TV in January.

The deal saw UIPM strike up a TV partnership for the 2016 season with production firm Sunset+Vine and a digital partnership with Digotel, which will run

With the Olympics exactly 100 days away this platform could be the perfect accompaniment to the games themselves.

Leandro Pontes, promotions manager at UIPM, says UIPM TV is an important part of the organisation’s efforts to communicate the UIPM brand.

“The launch of the UIPM TV constitutes the last phase of a master plan to communicate the UIPM brand more consistently,” Leandro said.


“Primarily, this plan included the establishment of visual guidelines for venue dressing, more creative design in publications and increase of UIPM presence on social media.

“UIPM TV has a programme of exciting TV events in store to reach new and existing Modern Pentathlon fans no matter where they are in the World.”

Leandro added that the OTT platform has an array of benefits and he sees it as an ideal way of reaching new audiences.

“With the establishment of a great TV show and the added value of an entertaining online platform combined with aggressive communication on traditional social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and local ones like Sina Weibo and Wechat (in China) and VK (in Russia) we hope to reach new audiences,“ he added.

UIPM also felt that it was an ideal time to launch UIPM TV as we are in an Olympic year. The organisation saw this as an unmissable opportunity to create awareness around its sport and to provide existing fans with the tools to access their favourite athletes and events at any time.

According to Leandro, due to the change of consumer needs, the OTT platform offers a great chance for exposure for the sports that don’t get enough on traditional or mainstream media.

“Consumption habits of audiences in sports are diversifying quickly and the OTT platform benefits the sports which are not presented in traditional media on a daily basis,” Leandro said.

Vindicia editorial

According to Doug Smith, Senior Vice President of Customer Success at payment service provider Vindicia, more companies are moving towards OTT because it is what consumers want and it gives them options that traditional TV doesn’t.

Among Vindicia’s many clients is the National Basketball Association (NBA) who they have worked with to successfully create their NBA League Pass digital content offering for fans worldwide.

“Companies are moving into OTT because it’s what consumers want. Through this model, viewers are able to access their favorite content anywhere, at any time, across devices,” Smith said.

“In addition, these platforms generally allow consumers to bypass irritating commercials so they can get more of what they want: high-quality content.

“These platforms also allow them to take an ala carte approach to programming – selecting what they want and discarding what they don’t.”

Doug Smith has identified Major League Baseball (MLB) as another sports organisation that is using OTT to great effect and believes it is essential to make it as easy as possible for fans to stream their favourite sports.


“As long as the desire to watch the sport is there, viewers will be on board. The real key for OTT businesses is to provide the tools that make it easy for users to stream their favourite sports,” he added.

“The Major Baseball League has been enormously successful with OTT so far. MLB’s Advanced Media department has created an incredibly robust streaming video technology that gets around many of the challenges sports content providers usually faced in the market.

“For instance, Major League Baseball Advanced Media, also known as BAM, found a way to identify customers and whether or not they had legal access to a stream, which enabled them to reduce regional blackouts that occur when a local network has the rights to content.”

OTT in sport is certainly growing exponentially and will only go to greater heights in the years to come and more sports federations and rights holders are tapping into the monetisation of it.