Social Media providers are all battling to sign streaming rights for sports leagues and games. There’s a range of benefits that come from these deals with one of the main ones being a greater awareness of different sports.
Over recent months Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have all been competing to gain the rights to stream sports content. Facebooks’ latest multi-million dollar deal is with CrossFit. This fitness craze has millions of loyal fans all around the globe with many participating in the regime themselves. The deal signed with CrossFit.com allows Facebook to broadcast official events, behind the scene content as well as shows such as “Coaches Corner” and “Frenemy Friday”.
Another sport which has previously announced a video content partnership is the National Lacrosse League. Lacrosse is rapidly growing in popularity with new teams and domestic leagues developing all around the world. Lacrosse is attractive to many dedicated fans due to its fast paced and the competitive nature of the sport. With this deal, the NLL hope to gain an even greater audience.
Social media networks are allowing sports leagues to get the coverage they have previously not been able to gain due to viewership size affecting licencing deals. Live-streaming is providing a way for leagues to stream niche sports content. Not only does this build awareness for leagues but it also allows for new revenue streams, as well as sponsorship opportunities.
Sports leagues have recognised that the future of viewing sports content is through online streams. Partnering with social networks not only allows for live video content, it also allows leagues to heighten their fan experience by making more content accessible whilst building a diverse global audience. It also enables simultaneous real-time conversations with other supporters watching on the platform.
Many fans view live-streaming content as a positive step forwards, some, however, are sceptical about how technology will change the viewing perspective. With more digital content available online, it’s now more important than ever for teams to provide a fan engaging stadium experience, one which fans can get involved in out of their couches and at live events. There is a range of engagement tools which can be used within a stadium, including fan competitions, real-time stats or behind the scenes stadium content.
Technology is rapidly developing, providing new opportunities for a range of sports leagues to build on their fan engagement. Live-streaming deals can only be seen as a positive opportunity. They provide a way for teams and leagues to reach global audiences which consist of new, potential and current fans. Supporters are given the opportunity to interact with other fans, learn and share views all whilst receiving extra content and unseen footage.