Live Sports are the last bastion of pay-TV, and are held in high regard by operators and broadcasters. They are the last service tethering customers to their cable and satellite packages, but these operators know that it is a question of when not if, for when the sports leagues pull the trigger and pursue a direct-to-consumer model – leaving the operators to wither on the vine, reports Rethink TV.
Early experiments have taken root, and are growing into tempting fruit – with sports leagues now evaluating whether an OTT application with no middleman is a better profit margin and customer experience than relying on the operators and their respective deep pockets.
Accordingly, the market for the security software and services that cater to these OTT services will enjoy strong growth through the period, reaching $452 million by 2026, forecasts Rethink TV. There are no surprises, in terms of regional performance, but across the board, the amount of Live Sports viewing that takes place on traditional linear TV is declining.
Sports viewing is perhaps the stickiest content for linear TV, and in this respect, it will retain viewership for longer than other types of content – which will more quickly migrate to OTT services, delivered via Smart TVs, TV peripheral devices, games consoles, PCs, tablets and smartphones.
The value of sports, especially live sports, to rights holders of all shapes and sizes is immeasurable. It is premium content that has a solid fanbase that will rarely compromise on being able to watch it, and thus rights holders can charge admission to this content accordingly. As such, the market for OTT security will post healthy growth, even as the headwinds roll in for the larger pay-TV market.