As Amazon Prime prepares to stream all nine Premier League fixtures on Boxing Day in the UK, Edgeware’s Senior Director Business Development, Peter Sergel, looks at the growing trend of relying on OTT delivery methods for high profile TV content
The festive period is synonymous with certain activities: overeating, spending too much money and watching a lot of TV. It’s a time for excess as much as it’s a time to relax with family and friends. And while it should ultimately present the majority of us with the opportunity to recharge the batteries (if they’re included!), for those involved in the TV industry, it’s perhaps the busiest time of the year.
With living rooms around the world full of people looking to Christmas programming to provide a much-needed respite from having to talk to each other, there is a huge available audience sat there ready to be entertained. Then factoring in those unwrapping new smart TV’s, laptops, tablets and mobile phones who are desperate to see what content they can access and the level of picture quality their new toys can deliver, it’s no longer just one main screen per household. There might be multiple streams being requested by multiple devices in the home and on the go that now need to be delivered glitch free as viewers search for that ‘beyond broadcast’ experience.
Let’s look at Boxing Day in the UK for example. Being one of the most watched sports globally, the Premier League is one of the most valuable sporting properties in the world and the 26th December is traditionally one of its busiest days. This year, for the first time, all nine fixtures on that day will be streamed live and exclusively on Amazon Prime between 12.30pm and 9.30pm, as part of a rights package picked up by Amazon. It’s a deal that has taken live Premier League broadcasts off linear TV for the first time.
The US tech giant’s first foray into English football, and its most high profile move yet into live sports content, has resulted in a record number of sign-ups to the retailer’s Prime Video service. With so many eyes on its OTT platform, there will be no room for technical issues or drops in quality. This is particularly important as many of those signing up to Prime Video will have taken advantage of its 30-day free trial, and may opt out before having to commit to paying for the annual service.
The fact that Boxing Day’s Premier League games are solely distributed via an OTT streaming service shows a trend in the TV distribution landscape. It also points at the growing importance that the viewing experience has on this distribution method. With this anticipated increase in demand for VoD content across the festive period OTT TV providers need to avoid a Christmas hangover and instead make sure to show off the full potential of their services for what they are: a way to deliver a TV beyond broadcast experience!
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