Sports Channel Network (SCN), the UK based Free to Air OTT channel, has become the first sport channel to deliver digital advertising to a free to air broadcast audience using the Google Ad Manager platform.
This follows an agreement signed between Google and VOD 365, the group of OTT channels of which SCN is a part.
Paul Coster, founder and CEO of the VOD 365 group, said: “This agreement with Google marks a real milestone in the development of the VOD 365 group. In sport, we have tested a wide range of content on SCN and can now focus on what works for fans and for advertisers. As marketing spend moves towards programmatic solutions, SCN will target ads to specific pieces of content and measure regional differences. Data for us is the big priority. It’s helping us manage the frequency of ads and how we deliver them, and it’s also helping us in the decision-making process around acquisitions.”
SCN, available on Freeview and YouView, was created at the end of 2017 and has already streamed over 900 hours of premium content in HD from partners including Formula E Motor Racing, FIBA Basketball, FIH Pro League Hockey, UCI Cycling, FIA Motorsport, Clipper Sailing, LTA tennis, Hammer Series in cycling, Red Bull Media, World Sailing, Event Rider Masters Series in equestrian and the Super League Triathlon Series. SCN has also streamed football and fishing as well as drone racing and kite surfing content.
“With ongoing investment in programming, marketing and PR, SCN aims to be the number 1 OTT FTA sports channel on Freeview and YouView”, added Coster. “SCN will present VoD magazine-style programming (including original productions), and complementary short form formats for use on social media. We are also considering producing live streams of key events.”
“The beauty of SCN is that it can be part of a balanced portfolio for Sports Rights Holders. Yesterday’s incredible final of the 2019 Cricket World Cup is a great example of strategic thinking to combine Pay TV and free to air options for the benefit of fans. SCN has just signed an agreement for Pro Fight League, one of the big MMA promotions, so UK MMA fans can access content free of charge on SCN. We are also in advanced discussions with IMMAF, the international governing body for the amateur side of the sport, to make SCN a destination for MMA and with the British & Irish Boxing Authority to become a platform for boxing.
“SCN can sit within existing deals but we also offer an alternative to what we believe is an obsolete minimum guarantee rights model with one offering profit share from advertising revenue. TruOptik predicts that Connected TV advertising spend will hit $20 billion by end of 2020 and sport will be a big part of that. We believe that many sports in the UK don’t get the coverage they deserve, and struggle to earn decent revenue from their TV content. By offering free to air audiences, SCN can help to promote and build awareness in the UK, but we can also help monetise that content in an AVoD market which is growing extremely fast,” Coster concluded.