Digital platforms have become the go-to for all forms of entertainment, TV, and movies have long found their home on the biggest streaming services particularly with the most recent change to see box office releases move straight to video-on-demand, and gaming has also long had its home online as UKOCL has some options that are amongst the most favored over the past few years. One thing that has yet to make the big leap forward has been through most traditional sporting events as many are tied behind long-standing TV contracts or pricey streaming platforms. Could this look to change in the future as streaming services look to include sporting in their repertoire?
One service that has tried to get some games on its roster has been Amazon Prime for the Premier League and were able to bid on accepting a number of games throughout the season, but the existing contracts that run into the billions of dollars may put a damper on any smaller streaming service trying to reach out and get some of these games as the numbers are just too high – as streaming continues to grow and regular television falls out of favor, it could help to bring these costs down in the future but for now they may remain out of reach for some platforms to consider trying.
Other sports have tried and somewhat successfully made the change – Formula 1 is a great example after launching its pro service at quite an affordable price of $79 a year which gives viewers access to all sessions through practice, qualifying, and the live race and plenty of viewing choices too and shows that despite the large deals on television a streaming approach can be successful where willing. It may be a blueprint for another traditional sport to follow particularly where a lower price point is considered to make it more accessible to a wider audience.
Whilst the biggest events like the world cup will always largely remain free, adapting to the change demands from viewers may be more important than ever for lots of other aspects of football particularly within the smaller leagues – things like esports are free to stream for the bigger and smaller events alike and are able to pull in huge numbers, traditional sporting has started to fall somewhat behind the curve in this regard and as football is the biggest sport in the world could certainly lead by example and show the way forward – but as noted, with the huge cash flow that comes with selling broadcasting rights, it’s going to be a difficult step to take for football to move into streaming.