A key challenge facing sports streaming services is harnessing the potential of younger sports fans, that was the view of a panel of experts in sports streaming, speaking at the IBC2023 Content Everywhere stage.

Tim Mulligan, EVP and Research Director at MIDiA Research, said: “The problem is not that young demographics don’t engage with sport, but that they have a different way of watching it. Less than 7% of them engage in live sports consumption, and the reality is that the sport in the US and Europe is heavily weighted towards older viewers.”

D3 Key Steps Streaming 2 Rick Young Eric Black Vinayak Shrivastav Timm Mulligan 3

(L-R): Rick Young, SVP, Global Products, LTN; Eric Black CTO/General Manager of Media, Edgio; Vinayak Shrivastav, Founder & CEO, Magnifi; Tim Mulligan, EVP and Research Director, MIDiA Research

“The big challenge in sports is how you make content relevant to younger demographics,” added Mulligan.

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One company on the panel which is working on the problem is Magnifi, a developer of AI-powered technology which creates packages in real time. Vinayak Shrivastav, Founder & CEO, revealed that sports production in India has gone through vast change in the Past few years. “Customisation has played a very important role, particularly with the younger crowd which wants to follow different layers in the content.”

The rapid creation of shorter-form content for different platforms, particularly mobile, is key if you want to make the most of sports IP, said Shrivastav.

“Short-form content is gaining massive momentum, but things need to happen at a faster speed.”

“We feel that in sport we will see a whole new way in which content is consumed. It’s going to be fascinating to see how many different versions of the same content can be created.”

Eric Black, CTO/General Manager of Media, Edgio, added that the maximisation of sports IP is critical. “It’s getting more expensive and it’s time-sensitive, so the question is how do we get audiences in to watch the match and keep them around?

“One of the things we do is focus on what’s showing right after the big match. The IP is so expensive, it is critical to monetise it.”

Rick Young, SVP, Global Products, LTN, said that AI would play a key role in driving the customisation of sports events. “We are leveraging that technology to make sport more appealing to younger viewers. Adding data around it, using different presenters like a musician who might have a different take on a sport and make it more palatable to younger audiences. There are real possibilities there.”

Read more IBC2023: Technical Papers Presentation Sessions