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Sports Rights Holders & TV Channels: Half-Time Plan for Confinement Constraints
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Sports Rights Holders & TV Channels: Half-Time Plan for Confinement Constraints

Newsbridge Content Team        
April 16, 2020

As the COVID19 global health crisis continues to unfold, government officials world-wide have taken extreme measures to flatten the curve. Even before the mandatory confinement which started between January and March of this year for many countries, international governments began with restricting mass gatherings, resulting in the cancellation of sports events and even partial seasons, indefinitely.

COVID19’s Effect on the Sports World: Recap

As a quick overview, a majority of major international sports leagues such as soccer, rugby, golf, auto racing, cycling, basketball, tennis, hockey and baseball have either suspended their seasons or cancelled large-scale matches due to the unanimously issued health mandate around the globe. In an unprecedented turn of events, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Invictus Games have also been postponed, for the first time since WWII. For a more thorough recap, take a look at this USA Today list of worldwide sports events that have already been canceled or postponed.

Match disruption due to COVID19 is forcing many TV Channels to find alternative methods of engaging fans.

The aftermath still unknown, this period of confinement has brought upon major disruption in the sports world, along with impacting sports rights holders and TV Channels. As reference, ESPN alone is predicted to lose 475 million USD in advertising revenue for the 2020 fiscal year if the rest of the NBA season is cancelled.

Taking a look at income data (average over 5 years) acquired from some of the top sports leagues broken down by revenue type (commercial, match day and broadcasting) we can see that broadcasting revenue reigns supreme.

Image: WEF / Statista

Which begs the following questions... what will the next 5 years of major league revenue look like? Or even just next year? And how can Sports Rights Holders and TV Channels stabilize revenue during the international health crisis?

Looking Toward The Future

Despite decreased revenue from loss of live sports content combined with a projected decrease in advertising and subscription, all is indeed not lost.

Pessimism aside, this is a time to be making decisions with a future focus. Sports channels still have the opportunity to stabilize ratings via alternative methods.

In fact, this temporary “half-time” is a great period to add value to what you already have!

Easing Back Into the Game: 3 Tips To Get Back To Normal

1. Simplify Access to Content

Working from has not been extremely easy for journalists and production teams at this time due to poor server connection linked to VPN saturation issues. In response, many sports rights holders and TV channels are turning toward cloud-based, digital media asset management (MAM) solutions in order to easily access the content they either work with, share and or sell.

2. Speed Up Workflows for Quick Distribution and Publish

⌛In this period of crisis, time remains the most precious factor.

To speed up workflows, teams also have to be in sync. As the traditional workspace is now compromised, promoting collaboration among stakeholders is now extremely important. As most production teams are now working from home, multiple team members need to not just access but also work on projects with custom roles, sending their rough cuts to third parties as needed. In addition to that, there are also bandwidth concerns, so being able to work with snippets of media assets verses entire media assets or streams is now more important than ever- enhancing production capacity.

3. Valorize your Archives

Right now, archives are the highest potential content for your audience and deserve to be indexed correctly- put to good use so that you can share valuable content.

In an effort to ramp up engagement efforts, Sports Channels are piecing together a strategic patchwork of archived content that includes but is not limited to: historical games, match highlights, player speeches, reruns and more. Sports documentaries new and old are being produced alongside an increased emphasis on Esports with the discussion is turning toward coverage surrounding COVID19’s impact on the sports world.

As Deputy Commisioner and Chief Operating Officier of the NBA put it in a recent World Economic Forum article:

We’ve launched an NBA 2K competition [an esports form of the game] with players streaming from their homes. We’ve expedited production to bring forward the release of a Michael Jordan documentary. We’re hosting live quarantine parties on social media with current and former players, and we’re showing classic games every night – all things to continue to engage our fans during this time.”

-Mark Tatum

So, how is your team tackling current production and asset management obstacles?

Newsbridge: Sports Production Sidekick during COVID19 

To support you in accessing your assets, collaborating with your team and combatting bandwidth issues via retrieving only specific clips you need from your media, Newsbridge is committed to deploying a cloud-based, secure MAM in less than an hour that automatically indexes your assets via Multimodal AI. Interested in learning more? Try out the Newsbridge platform yourself... with a 15 day free trial.

Just as sports fans consistently show their resiliency, the industry is doing the same.

Advice To The Public

For further information regarding COVID-19 preventative measures, please refer to the latest public advice from the World Health Organization.

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