Could Traditional Sporting Follow Esports Example?


Many of our favourite hobbies and pastimes have been finding increasing presence in different online spaces, the most notable instance of this particularly within the past year has been the increasing number of gaming options that have become online options whilst brick-and-mortar alternatives remain closed such as those found at Max Casinos, particularly seeing growth over the past year despite initiative aimed at restricting access. But the big mover for online entertainment has come through for streaming, and the successes of esports for many can be directly linked to the support that is offered hand in hand with livestreaming platform Twitch – and may provide an opportunity for traditional sporting events to follow and find their own growth in the online space.

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Major broadcasting deals for many elite sports are set to expire over the next year or two, with many being tied into long and expensive contracts for TV broadcasting – but as cable cutting has continued and viewers are less likely to watch sporting events on their TV and more likely to stream via online options, it certainly does provide a unique opportunity for a more immediate change to be made if possible. Some have already made the transition as services such as Amazon have already secured the rights for live rugby events amongst others and provide it to all prime subscribers without any additional cost.

With these opportunities opening up in the coming years, and seeing the success found in other markets such as esports, it could also lead many down the road of developing or preparing their own service to deliver the sporting content as other big entertainment platforms have done through the likes of wrestling, although for a first outing may be a stretch – the good news is that the big streaming platforms will certainly see the huge value of getting a big elite sporting event on board and will pay for the privilege to do so, and moving away from a slowing medium like TV will only bolster viewer numbers too.

That isn’t to say things are a done deal, however, as there are still some pitfalls to avoid – other services have already found that heavy subscription fees or similar pay models can have the opposite impact as users are more likely to look for free options online as an alternative – the big name here is within the UFC as although PPV is a little different from livestreamed events, the cost of the ESPN service and the PPV model on top leads many to pirate instead. Smart manoeuvring here and seeing what has been so successful in the online space up until now will certainly help, and could lead to a very different look for sports broadcasting than has been seen in the past, particularly for those who are able to make the change sooner than others.