With the SportsPro OTT Summit in Madrid drawing near, SportsPro have undertaken a series of interviews with a selection of the top-level industry voices featuring on stage in November, including Eurovision Media Services. This interview with Michele Gosetti was originally published on the SportsPro website.
What role, if any, does over-the-top (OTT) play in levelling the playing field in the sports broadcasting landscape?
These options give rights owners the opportunity to extend their reach to additional online audiences. They can connect directly to their fans, gather data and engage with them in a more personalised manner. Furthermore, we do see certain sport properties that were lesser known and only broadcast online gaining traction because they were able to tap into their fanbase and leverage this to monetise their content.
What will OTT services look like in three years?
It's difficult to know what will happen in the next year, let alone the next three years. However, we do see some trends. Initially seen as competition, OTT and social platforms are, in fact, quite complimentary to linear channels. Working closely with sport federations, broadcasters and online media organisations, we see how important it is for all of them to maximise the reach of their sport content. It only makes sense to put some of the additional footage being produced at events online to bring viewers in front of the TV screen as well. In three years' time, I expect that we will start to see the impact of new global media rights partnerships and live sport streaming services.
Who do you see as leaders in the sector and why?
I'm interested to see the results of the OTT service announced last month by UEFA. They have a wide range of interesting content besides their main tournaments. An online platform could help them to maximise their reach and online following. There's also the DFL Digital Sports platform from Bundesliga's digital arm. Innovation has always been one of their key drivers and you see it in the way they feed their online content with a mixture of pop culture references and sport. They also use data to measure and improve their services on a continuous basis.
What OTT Summit session are you most looking forward to?
I am interested to attend the ‘Piracy and Content Security in the Online Space’ session – something we're very familiar with when it comes to distributing tier one properties. And I would like to go to the ‘Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning’ session. This is already starting to revolutionise sports video production and distribution and I'm keen to learn more.