Hey Sports Tech Fans,
Another crazy week in the world, but a lot is still happening in the world of sports despite a virtual shut down on all sporting action!
The NFL have voted to have 14 playoff games and interestingly they have voted to air games on Nickelodeon and NBC’s upcoming streaming service, Peacock.
While the decision to provide some games on a streaming service should come as no surprise, the move to add games to a kids TV channel, most certainly came as a shock to me at least.
We have talked a lot on here about traditional sports facing issues with an aging fan base, hence the moves in the last year or so to do deal’s with the likes of Twitch and TikTok to attract a younger audience by providing sports content where the gen zers are spending their time.
Broadcasting on a kids TV channel is a first as far as I am aware and is a bold move by the NFL. Will we see this kind of deal in other sports? Will the Cartoon Network be broadcasting MLB?
It remains to be seen what the viewing figures will be for these games but I am sure there will be a lot of analysis of the numbers to see if it actually proves successful for the NFL.
Like a lot of things in sports, if one league can prove it is a successful strategy, expect others to pour in.
In other streaming wars news, DAZN has deferred its rights fees payments and furloughs staff. It probably comes as no surprise as their entire business model is based on the premise that there is always live sports to stream to their subscribers.
It is a bold move, made in a tough situation to protect it in the long run.
Could it see a massive cancellation from subscribers? Could rights holders terminate their agreements? Could it impact on future negotiations for rights with different sports teams and leagues? Its hard to know from here but it could be make or break for the biggest sports OTT platform.
Elsewhere, virtual sports and eSports continue to surge.
The NBA and NFL will be hosting tournaments for star players battling it out on their games consoles.
This could very well be the tipping point for esports as a lot of fans will tune in that would never have considered watching streamed video games before.
Involving the players is a great way to boost the tournaments and engagement from fans. It will showcase the players in a new light and with established stars taking part the relationships, fan affinities and rivalries will make for a better viewing experience for a lot of fans who have no affinity to esports stars.
I expect major trash talking to take place before during and after, which could make for a great viewing experience for fans. With real world sports we never get to hear what is being said, so if you intend to watch with children be advised that you may hear some curse words and trash talk!
Have a great virtual sporting weekend,