OTT ‘Disappointing’ for Many Sports Organizations, Per PwC

LONDON—OTT is not king yet in the sports world. While OTT services continue to gain traction with consumers and as a new way for networks to offer their content, sports has yet to jump on the bandwagon, as depicted in a new study from PricewaterhouseCoopers.

In its “Sports Survey 2019,” 5.4% found of respondents found that the commercial success of rights owners’ OTT platforms were disappointing and should be restructured, while a leading 39.7% said that the platforms did not meet their expectations, but that there was still promise; that accounted for 45.1% of all respondents. A combined 34.9% found their expectations met (30.7%) or exceeded (4.2%).

A number of challenges for rights owners as they attempt to implement an OTT platform were laid out in the report. At the top was ensuring a high quality of service (76.8%), followed by creating enough content to generate long-term interest (75.1%) and developing an effective pricing strategy (68.5%) rounding on the top three. However, a number of benefits have also emerged, including access to fan data, the ability to innovate sports formats through fan insights and increased global reach and viewership.

“Sports leaders tell us that successful OTT distribution is by no means a walk in the park and has been commercially underwhelming to date,” the report said. “We see OTT as a potentially impactful, albeit non-essential part of understanding your audience through a holistic fan engagement strategy.”