For the Hyundai A-League, broadcasting and its deal with Foxtel is top of a long to-do list since the COVID-19 wrecking ball sent sport into a tailspin.
A quick recap: back in 2005, the Hyundai A-League’s new broadcast partner Fox Sports (on the Foxtel pay-TV platform) was pivotal in dragging the code into a new era.
Their product was first class, albeit production costs were exorbitant and the distribution model was of its time.
Sport and business continually evolve and 15 years later, the relationship between the league and the subscription TV provider is at a tipping point.
Costs and ROI are Foxtel’s main concerns.
Is 2020 the time for the A-League to consider a different type of broadcast solution?
Specifically, by owning its own product, the A-League could stream games direct to its consumers on a dedicated A-League channel for a monthly premium.
It’s understood the English Premier League crunched the numbers for its own OTT model - call it EPL TV for argument's sake.
They then used those huge projections of revenue to drive up a new highly lucrative broadcast deal. Otherwise, they could have gone OTT themselves in a similar way to NBA League Pass.
Could the A-League innovate by going on their own, delivering games via live stream direct to consumer?
At the same, utilizing the exponential growth in broadcast technology, 5G, AI and cloud-based solutions to help provide cost-effective, scalable broadcasts of similar quality?
Bringing the cost of production down is key. For example, the NRL has a reputed cost of production at an unsustainable $125,000 per game.
There’s no shortage of OTT options out there as increasingly robust technology continues to offer streamlined options for broadcast at scale.
Grabyo is just one.
It’s OTT service is now live-streaming the increasingly popular K-League to the official Twitter and YouTube channel of the K-League, whose Australian rights were snapped up by Optus Sports today.
In fact, the K-League is also utilizing AI (Artificial Intelligence) to automate its best video content.
Through its partnership with WSC Sports, the K-League tap into WSC's proprietary AI platform to automatically create short-form videos in real-time that are easily shared across all digital platforms.
Similarly, DAZN, a major new player in the OTT sports arena globally, have been using AI to automate much of their partners’ video content production.
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VP Strategy, Asia at DAZN Media Andy Jackson told FTBL on this week’s Year Zero podcast that the A-League should be exploring the idea of owning and monetising their own content (although he wasn’t able to comment on speculation DAZN was considering streaming A-League games live if they become available).
It’s a space that’s abuzz with possibilities.