Thursday, March 23, 2006

Liverpool incentives for new media sportscasting

The New Media Sportscasting Summit hosted by Servecast in Dublin, Ireland, yesterday saw leading sports industry experts discuss trends and opportunities for the delivery of sport over broadband and 3G. According to the survey of participants reported by Finfacts, broadband consumption of sports content will increase by 25 percent over the next three years.

Delegates heard that best way to minimise subscriber churn from broadband sports subscription services is to incentivise customers towards annual rather than monthly subscription. “Having a well presented preview function with sample content and offering occasional free video samples to get customer more used to watching video online is essential for successful subscriber recruitment. The best way to minimise subscriber churn is to incentivise customers towards annual rather than monthly subscriptions. Investing heavily in customer services and technical support is also key to keeping online subscribers,” said Stephen Michael, General Manager of Liverpool FC TV.

Simon Green, CEO of Setanta Sports US, emphasised that the new phenomenon of ‘Placeshifting’ means that the desire to have sports content anytime, any place is driving new media sportscasting. “We are in the entertainment business and must compete for our customer’s attention in a very busy market dominated by MTV, ipods, PSPs, TV Soaps, Cinema, Pubs and PCs,” he said.

Reduction in time delay to ‘as live’ will increase opportunities to incorporate in-running betting with online sports content; live pictures can sit alongside prices for events and web content dictated by the broadcast; and creation of more web-specific content will create opportunities to sponsor on-demand broadcasts linked to major racing events.

The fourth screen – the mobile phone – is vital in the communications mix for new media sports content. An understanding of mobile personalization, content recommendations and search capabilities in a wireless environment are key to enabling the success of mobile portal content propositions in the sports industry.

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