According to a CNET article written in April Samsung shipped 83.2 millions phones worldwide during the first quarter of 2015. The same article reported that Apple sold 61.2 million units. A large percentage of the customers use the phones and sometimes tablets to stream sports content. Gaining the interest of these global fans is the key to winning the streaming war.
People all over the planet follow the Premier League. Many of the fans reside in major economic markets. The league needs to provide the ability to stream on and off the field coverage to all of their fans. Targeting the emerging markets will increase the league’s popularity and financial growth. Streaming is the future of sports content. The League has a chance to conquer the category.
The United States is arguably the largest untapped emerging Soccer market. Growing in the region is extremely important to the Premier league. Their efforts are beginning to pay off but they still have a long way to go. The league’s, biggest obstacle is their inability to make regional Soccer content accessible in the states.
Regional sports are popular because they’re consistently shoved in the face of locals. It’s extremely difficult to be unaware of American Football if you live in the states. Major media outlets such as ESPN dedicate hours to the sport. This coverage features on and off the field content. In the UK Soccer receives similar treatment. This regional treatment makes it difficult for sports to grow internationally. It’s not just a UK/ United States thing. The whole world would benefit from universal sports coverage.
Football is on pace to become the most popular sport in the states. American Soccer has taken the country by storm. Accommodating all of the new potential fans, has turned into a digital content arm race. The winners will capture access to the Soccer generation. Acquiring access to this lucrative prize will require a new and improved streaming strategy.
Every sports fan with a smart phone and or tablet can stream content. It’s up to the leagues to continue increasing their audience. That obstacle has prevented the major American sports, from reaching their target audiences. Their league pass strategy alienates thousands of fans every year. If the Premier League can create a different stateside strategy they can conquer the competition.
The sport went from widely accessible in the states to barley accessible. In order to watch many of the sports events fans are required to pay for extra channels. The recent Manchester United Club America match wasn’t available on basic cable. This decision alienated thousands of potential stateside fans. If the league wants to grow in the states it will need to change its strategy.
In 2013 NBC sports paid $250 million for the rights to broadcast the Premier League until 2016. The deal has increased the accessibility of live Premier league content. NBC sports offers streamable live game footage, but lacks the dedicated content its foreign competitors offer. Media outlets such as Sky Sports have multiple ESPN like segments dedicated to Football. The only way for people in the states, to access this amazing content is YouTube. The archived content is a start, but it’s not perfect. It’s reduced accessibility increases the importance of streaming even more.
If streaming Is the future of technology the Premier league is capable of dominating the competition. The leagues global fan base would instantly gravitate towards the technology. According to a 2012 tech crunch article, one in four people own tablets. That statistic alone justifies embracing streaming technology.
Portable technology can be used anywhere and everywhere. Sports fans are often forced to do “important” tasks that take them away from the television on game day. It’s a match made in heaven. American sports leagues have already implemented the strategy. The Premier League can do it bigger and better.
You can find Samuel Goldman at Sam’s Seattle Sounders Blog