Esports and Sports Streaming Summit Preview: Jamie Horowitz, DAZN
Exciting news for sports streamers: The upcoming Streaming Media West conference in Los Angeles will include a two-day track called the Esports and Sports Streaming Summit. Going behind the scenes in sports streaming proved such a big draw in 2018 that we've made it a two-day track in 2019.
One of the highlights of the Summit will be Jamie Horowitz, executive vice president of content at DAZN, speaking in a fireside chat. Horowitz will be interviewed by DAZN host Adnan Virk, explaining how production differs for OTT and linear sports.
As a preview, we asked Horowitz to share a few thoughts about sports production. Here's what he had to say:
Why stream sports? It’s the one area where pay TV is maintaining its hold. Why should fans cut the cord and turn to streaming services?
We don’t spend time, energy, or resources trying to convince sports fans to cut the cord. What we’re focused on at DAZN is driving awareness of the service, acquiring new subscribers, and retaining those subscribers. It’s a simple formula with a lot of complex challenges. Naturally, the best way to attract those subscribers is to offer exclusive content. In Canada, we’re the exclusive home of NFL RedZone and the Premier League. In the U.S., we have one of the strongest boxing schedules the sport has ever seen, highlighted by the sport’s biggest star, Canelo Alvarez. If you’re an NFL, Premier League, or boxing fan, we’ve made a compelling case right there to become a DAZN subscriber.
But it isn’t just acquiring rights. We’re focused on delivering a premium product at an accessible price. In the case of boxing, we upended the pay-per-view model to the benefit of fans. Previously, you would pay up to $100 for one night of PPV. We entered the space and said for that same price we’ll give you a year of access to every Canelo fight, every GGG fight, and every Anthony Joshua fight. This ability to disrupt a long-held model to service fans is our biggest strength as a young business.
How are sports leagues adapting to the new world of online delivery? What is DAZN’s approach?
The leagues are excited that OTT has finally arrived. Certainly the cable television model is incredibly successful, but it is also a one-way communicative device. The basic premise was that the customer got a signal and had the option to change from one channel’s signal to another channel. The leagues and commissioners are excited by the idea that streaming services are personalized and interactive.
Right now, if you watch live sports on DAZN versus a more traditional outlet there is not a dramatic difference in actual production. But we all believe that over time data and interactivity will begin to transform the experience into a different experience for some people. Games will be personalized for those who want it that way. Fans will be able to see live data, they will interact and play games with their friends around the game, they will guess the outcomes, their fantasy team will be on the screen. Over time, we expect a divergence between what a game looks like on a linear channel—one identical feed to every person—and an interactive experience on a streaming service in which you could actually individualize what a fan receives in their stream.
What will sports fandom look like in 50 years, and how will we get there?
Our executive chairman John Skipper reminds us often that the means of content delivery will continue to evolve. It always has. But one constant, no matter technological innovations, is people’s passion for sports. It is the most valuable video content in the world. If you’re a New England Patriots fan, there is nothing more important than seeing the game in the most convenient way possible. We don’t think that desire will change—we think the means of distribution will.
View the entire Esports and Sports Streaming Summit agenda online, and consider joining us in November. With the L.A. Clippers, San Francisco Giants, World Poker Tour, World Surf League, Impact Wrestling, and many more in attendance, it's going to be an amazing conference.
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