Hey Sports Tech Fans,
It seems I am obsessed with all things La Liga this past week, but there has been a major development in the distribution for La Liga matches in the US.
BeIN, the rights holders to La Liga in the US, have this week announced a free OTT channel that will carry a range of sports, documentaries and archive sports in the US market.
I have been over this in previous editions, but the distribution problem that BeIN sports has in the US is a big one. It was cut from DirectTV and Comcast, which over halved the number of households it was available in the US to about 10 million.
Contrast that to the Premier League and its deal with NBC, which is available to over 85 million homes and you realise how much La Liga has to do to catchup with the Premier League in the US. And one game a year hosted in the US won’t do that imo.
But this deal has the potential to break the glass ceiling and allow BeIN and La Liga, among other sports on the network, to over come its distribution issues by bringing it directly to the fans.
The first platform they have targeted in Roku TV. This may seem like a strange choice when you have the likes of Apple TV, Google’s Chromecast and Amazon’s Fire TV platforms to target, but its an astute choice.
When you look at the install base for all of the above, Roku leads the way on 39% with Amazon on 30%. (I might deep dive into this in the future) It is a fascinating space as these platforms are now the gateway to the big screen in peoples homes.
The last few years has seen the rise of cord cutters and cord nevers, but people still have TV’s on which to consume content, hence the move to Roku TV over launching an app on Android or iOS.
They get to bring the TV experience into peoples homes without having to do a deal with Comcast and DirectTV which seems impossible at this point.
Credit to BeIN for this move as it solves a huge issue of theirs and allows them to gain traction in a market where their distribution has been halved in recent years.
The move to Roku TV will likely be enhanced with a roll out to the other platforms I mentioned above.
It will be interesting to see if they bring it to mobile platforms over time as that will be a much bigger market but on a much smaller screen.
I will be tracking this story as to how their roll out goes as it could see them claw back to the 20 million plus households that they were available in until recently.
Have a great sporting weekend,
PS it’s been a crazy week as a Spurs fan with the sacking of Pochettino and the arrival of Jose Mourinho but looking at the numbers of views, impressions and engagements on YouTube, Twitter and other social media platforms Jose seems to be great for business! Exposure at least as it remains to be seen if he can get Spurs winning again which will be the main driver to revenue growth at Tottenham!