Key trends in sports broadcasting: does the model really need to change?
LawInSport discussed the current state of media rights in sport with a number of leading industry experts to examine whether or not the model really needs to change, and the trends that we might see develop over the coming years.
“The model has to change!”
Covid-19 has placed renewed focus upon the ‘broadcasting model’ debate in sport. While the virus has led to an effective shutdown of most of world sport, the mantra of ‘the model has to change’ has often been repeated in the context of sports media. However, the assertion rarely gets probed any more deeply and to the extent it does, it doesn’t seem to lead much further than opinions that broadcast rights are expensive and their acquisition can lead to unacceptable levels of profitability (or loss, as the case may be) or investment risk. These are all fairly broad, sweeping statements though. There are clearly plenty of rights acquirers who both historically and now are generating significant benefit from the acquisition of sports rights – there is hardly likely to have been such healthy competition for rights across the world without this being the case. Thus, the “model” doesn’t seem like it needs to “change” for everyone. Further, certainly not all sports properties are what might be simply termed “expensive” in relative terms or have a high value in every territory across the globe. They have a value which the market determines they are worth given a certain set of circumstances that are relevant at the time of acquisition.
This article explores the relative merits of if and how ‘the model’ could change, first investigating the potential of regulatory intervention and then focusing on free market forces and developing trends within the pandemic backdrop. Specifically, it examines:
- Regulatory intervention
- Forcing rightsholders to sell rights on a non-exclusive basis?
- The terms of rights deals
- The evolution of models in the free market
- Rightsholder owned OTT platforms
- The potential effects of Covid-19
- Negotiating strategies
- Product delivery
- Sports documentaries
- Looking ahead: the rise of interactive digital products
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- Tags: Broadcasting | Commercial | Coronavirus | Covid-19 | European Commission | Football | Media Rights | NBA | NFL | Premier League | Regulatory | Sports | UK | USA
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Chris is the Editor at LawInSport, and takes responsibility for the review of content in conjunction with the Editorial Board. Prior to joining LawInSport, Chris graduated from Nottingham University, and trained and worked as a litigation lawyer at King & Wood & Mallesons SJ Berwin.