Shifting Away from Television
One thing that’s undeniable about the history of watching sports is the role that television has played in transforming the industry into the iconic,
spectator-oriented and celebrity-driven experience it is today. As soon as the networks began broadcasting sports for the first time, the massive increase in exposure changed the landscape for fans; in this same regard, streaming has proven to be just as impactful.
Television might have had a hand in changing what fans watch, but nowadays it’s much more about the ‘how’. Streaming hasbegun to drive a wedge between traditional and modern ways of watching sports, and it’s looking more and more like fans are going to have to choose one or the other.
Unfortunately for TV, it’s becoming more difficult to see the appeal:
Streaming platforms have given people the ability to choose exactly what they want to watch, instead of being stuck with the compromise of a traditional cable package, which almost always comes with excess.
Simply put, it’s becoming too expensive to have it all, even with streaming packages having what is arguable a much more economic deal for fans.
The gradual shift away from television towards streaming has a multi-faceted impact, as well. Content providers are having to tread lightly when it comes to their advertising; whereas previously television was virtually their only means of video advertising, now they’re faced with what are potentially huge losses from the decline of television viewers, who provide them with the much-needed returns on their investments.
According to Lindsay Guion, one of the biggest advantages that streaming has over its traditional counterpart is the concept of personalizing the viewer experience. In the past, it was enough for television to simply broadcast games and leave it up to the fans to keep track of which games they want to watch, but this isn’t the case anymore.
Streaming platforms are able to go above and beyond, allowing fans to pinpoint exactly what sports they need to be kept up to date with and subsequently providing the content. This means of watching content also comes with the added bonus of user data being much easier to collect, creating a clearer picture for content providers as to what they should do next as well as fostering a healthier relationship between them and their fans.
This level of service has resulted in a new wave of competition on the horizon. In almost exactly the same vein as the streaming war between Netflix and other home entertainment companies, sports content providers are upping their game; now they’re making apps and carving out subscription packages in order to try and attract viewers. All in all, the level of service being provided has far exceeded anything that television was able to accomplish.
Changes to Accessibility
Perhaps the most important impact that streaming has had on the sports entertainment industry is a massive increase to accessibility. Much like the early days of television revolutionizing sporting events by allowing fans to watch at home instead of having to be physically present at games, now streaming has increased this accessibility tenfold, by enabling fans to watch from just about anywhere.
Any smart device is more than capable of streaming the game live, and it is this fact that has seen audience sizes for games increase. What’s more, there is now also room for more content.
With streaming being able to broadcast more than one event at the same time, there is now room for some of the more niche sporting events that previously saw only limited coverage. This is only a plus for fans as they have better access than ever to their sporting events.