A Watershed For Streaming Sports
By Srivathsan AR
The last 12 months represent a watershed in the growth of streaming sports in Asia Pacific. We highlight three key markets:
Australia. English Premier League (EPL) football has served as the launchpad for a move into sports by Optus, Australia’s number two telco. The company signaled early on that its sports offerings were primarily a customer acquisition play, streaming EPL games for its broadband and mobile subs only.
Although the service was initially plagued by buffering and blackouts, delivery has subsequently been smooth while the overall customer experience has also improved. Q/Q subscriber additions have been robust, especially in postpaid.
India. Hotstar continues to scale peaks and redefine metrics on the back of cricket consumption and monetization. In the first week of the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL), more than 70 mil. domestic users had watched the tournament on Star India’s streaming platform, Hotstar. Given that India has 110 mil. digital pay-TV subs, Hotstar’s impressive reach signals a potential inflection point in a changing landscape.
Japan. Until 2016, sports was a TV proxy in Japan with J:Com-owned J Sports and pan-regional Fox Sports sharing most of the rights on pay-TV. Perform-backed Dazn disrupted the status quo in July 2016 with a 10-year ¥210 bil. (US$2 bil.) streaming deal with J. League, Japan’s football league.
Dazn has since become the country’s leading provider of live sports with a strong and growing 1.5 mil. subs base and a rights portfolio that boasts the Nippon Baseball League as well as J. League, EPL and UEFA football.
The dynamics and metrics of these case studies and more are explored in a report entitled The Future of Sports in The Age of Streaming: An Asia Pacific Perspective, published by Media Partners Asia (MPA).
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