OTT and Sports Streaming- The ideal match for experiencing Live Sports safely
A global lockdown hit the world in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. People were asked to hunker down, away from all the outdoor activities they usually enjoyed. And sports activities were no exception.
Sports enthusiasts know what it feels like to miss watching their favorite players in action. What it feels like to see that goal or that wicket or that match point. But with Covid looming over our heads, it became impossible to go to the stadium or the field and cheer for your athletes.
It’s not that you couldn’t attend an event. The events simply weren’t happening. After all, players are equally prone to catching the virus, right? How then would the players manage to stay in the public eye, and how then would all the sports associations be filling their coffers?
How Has The Sports Community Suffered During The Pandemic?
Players need to maintain their fitness levels at all times and are always active in some or other way. They’re always practicing to maintain their skillset in their particular games. The pandemic made it difficult to stay in form. Most players were stuck at home unable to play their favorite sport and ran the risk of being out of tune.
Cricket tournaments fetch the players and the cricket associations tons of money. With no matches taking place, and no crowds paying for the tickets, combined with no money from broadcasting rights, revenues took a hit as soon as Covid broke out.
Cricket was not the only victim. Other sports suffered the same fate. Players were losing visibility as well as money. And the sports enthusiasts were left with no option but to watch reruns of older matches on YouTube.
How OTT Stepped In
Even when players were not in front of the audience in the stadium or on the television sets, people could stay connected with them. How you may ask! Through various OTT platforms, which stepped in to keep you connected to your favorite sportspersons.
Be it through social media, or through reruns of past matches, or through interviews from home, you could always see what the players were up to. From their funny and cute moments with their families to their home workouts, everything became a rage, all thanks to OTT.
And then the plays resumed. Football matches began. The IPL was hosted. Unfortunately, no crowds were allowed to watch the matches in the stadiums. But that didn’t mean that fans couldn’t enjoy them from the comfort of their homes? Not all matches were screened on television. Even if they were, with the increasing number of cord-cutters, it became difficult to reach the target audiences. That’s when OTT stepped in.
More people now own OTT subscriptions than ever. And with the premium that they pay, they can watch live-streams of their favorite matches. Not only that, they can watch replays, re-runs, highlights, whatever they want, whenever they want. They don’t need to sit in front of the TV waiting for that interesting goal to be replayed, or for yesterday’s match’s highlights. It’s all available on OTT. You can watch it wherever you want, whenever you want!
Advantages Of Sports Streaming On OTT
There was a time when we used to rush back home to be able to catch the live broadcast of our favorite cricket matches. We just had to be in front of the television sets to watch all the action, ball by ball. Today, that’s not the case. OTT has helped bring our favorite sporting events to us, wherever we are, on multiple devices. Today, we can simply enjoy these events on our mobile phones during the commute.
OTT sports streaming is not only beneficial for viewers. It has opened up a myriad of opportunities for advertisers as well. On the television, channels have to display the same advertisement for everyone, irrespective of demographics and preferences. On OTT, there is a better and more targeted advertising happening. The ads are personalized for every viewer based on their search history, demographics, preferences, etc. This gives the advertisers an edge in being able to convince their target audience to buy their products and services.
Will Sports Streaming On OTT Completely Takeover Traditional Broadcasting?
While OTT has helped bring the sports world closer to people and made it convenient for fans, it’s unlikely that it will completely take over the traditional broadcasting model. True, it is a much more interactive experience for sports enthusiasts. But there is still a large chunk of the audience that will flock to their television sets for their favorite matches.
For starters, not all sporting events are live-streamed on the same OTT platform. You’re required to take subscriptions for various different OTTs for various different sports. This tends to become a little too heavy on the pockets. In such cases, where your area of interest is varied and you prefer to enjoy more than one sport, it’s still more convenient and cheaper to turn to the traditional broadcasting method, where you can indulge in multiple sports at lower costs.
Sports have been an integral part of people’s lives. Sportsmen are often bigger celebrities than movie stars. How then is it possible to stay away from our favorite games for so long? Even organizers and players agree with us and that’s the reason tournaments across the world have resumed, even though with limited or no crowds.
Traditionally, we’ve been able to catch hold of these games on our television sets. Now, we can do the same on OTTs as well. OTTs are especially helpful in sports streaming when particular matches are not broadcast on satellite cable in certain countries. For example, certain football matches of the Bundesliga were not broadcast on the television in India and OTT helped fans watch these matches, as soon as they resumed after the lockdown.
OTT is here to stay, be it for the entertainment industry or for the sports industry. It will exist in harmony with the traditional broadcasting methods but cannot completely replace them. At the same time, it’s difficult for traditional satellite broadcasting to give the OTTs a run for their money. The only option that the traditional broadcasters have is to innovate and try to establish a hybrid model and co-exist with OTT.