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Leaders Broadcast Disruptor of the week: João Pedro Paes Leme Enter our awards; join us in India Boxing’s thriving online platforms Epic Games ups creator payouts Sports media production in 2030 Broadcast market SWOT analysis: South Africa
LEADERS BROADCAST DISRUPTOR OF THE WEEK
Who? João Pedro Paes Leme
What? Founding Partner, Play9
Why? Leme, a former Rede Globo executive, runs the Play9 digital agency with Brazilian streamer Felipe Neto. Its latest project last week saw legendary Brazilian sports broadcaster Galvão Bueno launch his own YouTube channel, Canal GB, in order to broadcast a livestream of Brazil’s friendly match with Morocco. 72-year old Bueno has been the voice of many of Brazil’s most significant sporting moments, including World Cup victories, Ayrton Senna’s F1 world championships and Senna’s death in 1994. When Globo, his usual employer, pulled out of bidding for Brazil’s latest international, Play9 secured a deal with the Brazilian Football Association to stream the game in the country. Bueno’s first livestream generated over 10 million views, with a peak of 1.5 million. Impressive numbers, particularly, as Leme has pointed out – comparing Bueno to Neto or Casimiro, another Brazilian streamer now regularly broadcasting games via his channels – as this might be the first example of a non-digital native, non-athlete streaming live sport via their own YouTube channel. In an instant, a new way for Brazilians to hear a reassuringly familiar voice.
THE BIG PICTURE
Thanks for your click and hi from us; this is the Broadcast Disruptors Bulletin – it’s a fortnightly briefing on how sports content is created, produced, packaged up, sold and distributed, and you’re very welcome to it.
A last call to enter the Leaders Sports Awards. Deadline day is tomorrow. An all-star group of judges is waiting to deliver its verdict on your best work.
And first word of our latest Leaders event – happening in a thriving and fascinating media market. We’re heading to Bangalore – the Silicon Valley of India, no less – in June, for Leaders Meet: Innovation – India. It’s all in partnership with IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore; there’ll be a strong turnout of all the key decision-makers and decision-takers in Indian sport, and we anticipate it being a really powerful way of learning more about a market that simply can’t be ignored. Dates for your diary: 28th and 29th June. Drop us a line for more info or have a look here.
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EYES ON THIS – Watch how these things develop to understand the future
On the box: Anthony Joshua, former world heavyweight champion and DAZN investor, returns to the ring on Saturday in London for a heavyweight fight with Jermaine Franklin. It’s the first time since 2015 that a Joshua fight won’t be on pay-per-view, a combination of how his stock has recently fallen and his decision to move from Sky to DAZN, which is making Saturday’s card available as part of its subscription. DAZN has, over the past fortnight, struck deals with Sky and Virgin Media to carry its service – notably, DAZN now has its own channel on Sky. And the fight week build-up, well underway as you read this, serves as another reminder that boxing media is like no other, in terms of the way the business of the sport – how fights are made, who’s paying what to whom, pricepoints for subscriptions, ticket sales – is reported on, discussed and lapped up by a willing audience. In particular, promoters like Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn are regularly delivering more traffic to online boxing channels like IFL TV, Boxing Social, Boxing King Media and Behind the Gloves than fighters. In giving these non-traditional channels access, Hearn also has platforms willing to offer him almost unlimited time to land messages to fighters, other promoters and of course promote big fight nights and Matchroom’s global DAZN partnership – all to significant numbers of hardcore boxing fans. It’s a major time commitment, clearly, but perhaps a way of operating that other executives in other sports might want to start considering when their views are being regularly sought.
Creative control: Incentivising and remunerating creators continues to be a big issue for all sorts of digital platforms, and gaming appears to be the latest sector grappling with how to pay creators more, but within the confines of a workable business model. In what seems a substantial move, Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite, has announced it will share 40% of its total revenues with creators who design ‘islands’ within the game. The move was announced in conjunction with the launch of the latest iteration of Epic’s Unreal Engine editor, which will for the first time allow user generated projects to be published directly into the Fortnite game. According to Epic Games, ‘Fortnite is becoming an ecosystem’, with the company adding that ‘means new tools to design, develop and publish games, and a new economy that rewards developers’. It continued: ‘These updates bring us one step closer to Epic’s vision of a connected metaverse with billions of players enjoying high-quality creations made by millions of developers’. Payment will be determined by the popularity of the ‘islands’. According to Telecrunch, around half of play time in Fortnite happens in user-created content. Fortnite is following Roblox in formalising creator payouts – the latter paid out US$600 million to creators last year, with some estimates now suggesting that Epic may end up shelling out US$1 billion in the same way.
The WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management, supported by the DFL, the organisation that runs the Bundesliga, and Amazon Web Services, has produced a new report that gathers 99 sports media perspectives, from producers, clubs, leagues, tech firms and broadcasters, topredict what media production in sport will look like in 2030. The panelists were asked about the likelihood, desirabilityand impact of 25 different areas of the industry – a selection of results (impact and desirability scores out of 7) below.
~ Source: CSM research report: Top-tier sports product and its production in 2030
BROADCAST MARKET SWOT ANALYSIS
South Africa…byCapitalize Media CEO, Kelvin Watt, who rates SuperSport CEO Marc Jury as the best broadcast executive in the market.
Without doubt, the MultiChoice bouquet delivers the best aggregated sports content offering on the platform at the most incredible price of under $50 per month, largely thanks to the incredible 16 channels delivered by SuperSport, the SuperSport Schools channel and 2 ESPN channels;
The launch of SuperSport Schools App has been a game changing innovation in South Africa, with over 28,000 matches streamed in 2022 from 34 different sports, all free to users of the SuperSport Schools App and free to schools and festival organisers. With over 65,000 matches planned for streaming in 2023, this platform has fundamentally changed sports broadcasting in South Africa.
The SABC Sport streaming platform, SABCPlus, was recently launched and this will add additional channels for sports and federations to deliver their content. The free to air broadcaster had very little channel time available for sports and little financial muscle to acquire major domestic, regional and international rights.
SuperSport’s production expertise and commitment to delivering world class production value is enormously beneficial to content and rights-owners as well as viewers. For example, since their recent acquisition of Athletics South Africa’s broadcast rights, their vastly improved production of South African athletics events and particularly key marathon events such as the iconic Comrades Marathon, Two Oceans Marathon and Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is a game changer for the sport.
Free to air sport broadcasting has come under enormous pressure in South Africa due largely to the struggles of SABC and their difficulty in securing broadcast rights to key local, regional and international events at viable commercial terms for rights-owners.
This does mean that the vast majority of local and international sport broadcasting sits behind the MultiChoice paywall, which given the economic realities of South Africa greatly reduces the potential viewership numbers of all sports.
International broadcast rights are purchased in hard currencies whilst SuperSport via MultiChoice receives revenue in soft African currencies. This will continue to place major pressure on MultiChoice and will see them making choices about what to bid on going forward.
SuperSport Schools has positioned itself as a major future player in school and youth sport production and distribution. In a country and a continent where the youth far outnumber the adult population this platform is driving viewership and engagement for sports across the board, providing unprecedented talent spotting and tracking opportunities and delivering enormous coaching and performance analytics benefits. Don’t be surprised to see this business expand across Africa and into other international markets;
SuperSport’s commitment to women’s sport is seeing significant growth in this sector of the industry and audiences are starting to grow impressively. With South Africa hosting the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup earlier this year and the Netball World Cup later in the year, this truly is the “Year of Her” in this part of the world.
OTT will be a major opportunity for the second and third tiers of sport in South Africa, including community leagues. AVOD models are key due to low disposable income across the population.
There is a real opportunity for a quality sports FAST channel in South Africa with local market demand for quality sports content that is available free to viewers.
Electrical supply cuts, known locally as loadshedding, of between 4- 6 hours daily are having a major impact on broadcast viewership and digital connectivity. This audience-shedding is starting to have a significant impact on ad rates and delivery and further impacts the cost of living crisis in South Africa.
The cost of data is relatively high in South Africa, nearly double that of the UK and three times that of Nigeria according to recent studies.
South Africa has relatively low subscription potential due to the cost of living crisis, low disposable income.
Perhaps the biggest threat to sports in South Africa is the lack of financial resources of the majority of federations and leagues which impacts their human resource and event delivery capacity. Far too many sports organisations are overly reliant on SuperSport for survival, placing major strain on SuperSport’s resources.
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