Phenix, a provider of global, end-to-end real-time video solutions, has released its The Streaming Wars: Sports Report that found nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) of consumers (who watch sports on TV) have come to expect bad service during live games.
The study, conducted online with third party research firm YouGov, uncovered not only the consumer perceptions and expectations during live sports streaming experiences, but how they want to see those streaming experiences improve over time.
Phenix’s report found 63 per cent of sports watchers are reluctant to sign up or re-subscribe to sports livestreaming platforms in 2018, with more than one in three (34 per cent) reporting they would think about cancelling the service giving them an issue.
THE SAD STATE OF THE SPORTS LIVESTREAM
Latency is a clear factor contributing to the frustrations plaguing consumers and ultimately resulting in significant business impacts for the franchises, broadcasters and platforms delivering the streaming experience. During live game-time streams, sports watchers cite the following latency issues:
Latency issues have the potential to genuinely impact streaming businesses’ bottom lines. Not only are sports watchers expecting streaming disruptions; they are frustrated by them, worried about spoilers, are switching services and wondering if they’ve wasted their money.
It’s apparent the ‘live’ streaming industry is fundamentally broken and latency issues are becoming a big, loud problem,” said Jed Corenthal, Chief Marketing Officer of Phenix, whose previous experience includes positions at the NFL, AVP Pro Beach Volleyball and more. “Sports is always going to need to be watched in real-time, but outside traditional broadcast mediums, the industry is still unable to offer it at scale, as evident by recent issues during livestreams of major sporting events. The good news is sports fans aren’t going to stand for this and have the potential to be the primary voices calling for the industry to rethink what it means to truly deliver a game in real-time. They’re considering cancelling their subscriptions or just not signing up for new ones at all next year. Hopefully, these findings will serve as a wake-up call that finally convinces streaming platforms to solve the latency issues plaguing the market.”
Capitalising on Real-Time Potential
With a number of high profile sporting events on the horizon (more than one in three, 36 per cent, of sports watchers anticipate issues streaming this year’s Super Bowl) there’s ample opportunity for the streaming industry to not only solve the latency issues it faces, but use real-time capabilities to elevate the sports fan’s overall experience.
“Luckily, with so many major sporting events coming up in early 2018 – the Olympics, the Super Bowl, the World Cup – there’s incredible opportunity for franchises, broadcasters and streaming platforms to finally get the live stream right. Correcting course means implementing end-to-end technology that provides an optimal, true real-time streaming experience that works at scale. Otherwise, latency will continue to wreak havoc on the industry and impact revenue for platforms that rely on such a passionate user base,” said Corenthal.