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How to Grow an OTT Audience Through Niche Sports

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Learn more about sports and OTT at Streaming Media West 2021.

Read the complete transcript of this video:

Chris Pfaff: I'm really seeing much more traction with niche sports. What we would again, from a holistic point of view, call niche. I mean there are certain sports that to American audiences might be niche that are not niche at all to other audiences, but talk about how sports plays a role in what you're doing in the overall mix and what you're learning in terms of how to grow those audiences.

Rick Allen: What over-the-top allows content owners to do is to find these passionate viewers and really super-serve them. So in sports, the whole notion of a fan base is something that's really, really clear to us and to sports team owners, to leagues, to operators. And the key is to provide more information than they can get from the regular sports channels. If we watch on the nightly news, our Capitals, our Wizards here in DC may get 90 seconds, best case, on a nightly newscast, usually a standup from in front of the locker room. That's just not enough for a fan. You want live games. You want deep content about players, about the team itself. You want more than video. You want player performance, data that's consumer-facing and easy to consume. You want new technology like AI.

But you also want free-to-play games. If you're in a state where gambling is legal, you want to be able to do that. You want the experience integrated into your ticket packages. You want the opportunity to get special deals on tickets, with ecommerce integrated, so that at the end of a particularly memorable game, you can buy the jersey of the player who scored the winning goal. All of these things significantly extend view time.

When you've got these engagement devices, you're making it a much richer experience for the fans, and you can do it on a global basis. We represent the Italian pro basketball leagues. Clearly that's a very, very big property in Italy. There are over 100 pro teams there, but there's an international audience for ex-pat Italians, basketball players worldwide. And that's an opportunity for what might be a smaller property to go beyond any geographic and use OTT to really aggregate a very sizable fan base. So we're doing that for individual teams and leagues across the world.

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