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Delatre report delivers upbeat message for future of OTT sport

Sports media technology firm Delatre has published a wide-ranging analysis of the sports sector (Where the Money is Going: The Future of Sports Entertainment), in which it estimates that global distributors of sports content currently commit 15% of their total budget to the development of the OTT technology stack. In the US alone, this figure will translate into a staggering $6.8 billion investment by 2021.

Among its key findings, Delatre said operators that invest in functionality that maximises fan engagement will see a 24% uplift in subscriber acquisition. It also predicted that “IP-delivered services from leagues, federations and operators are the future gateway for sports consumption, with ‘OTT 2.0’ to emerge by 2021.”

Delatre said the next four years “will be critical as global media rights for the world’s most viewed sporting events become available to bid on. With the added pressure of non-traditional, digital-first entities like Facebook, Twitter and Amazon joining the fight, it is critical for operators to build or seek out from third-party vendors highly scalable, data-driven OTT platforms that give the flexibility to adapt with trends. Only this will separate the winners from the losers in the battle for sports OTT.”

In terms of the size of the market’s potential, Delatre said “over two-thirds of consumers (in the US) pay up to $39 per month on sports content – with the remaining one-third willing to pay more. The opportunity to capture and increase the lion’s share of this exists for operators prepared to invest in the tech stack.”

With some consumers put off by the high price of traditional sports content packages, Delatre argued that OTT would provide an opportunity for operators to reinvent their relationship with consumers: “OTT creates a way to better engage fans at a tolerable price point throughout the year, opens new avenues for cross-sell and upsell, and, importantly, gives operators access to much richer data to guide decision-making.”