What is the future of sports on TV (debate) – Puls Biznesu

The number of entities operating in the audio-visual sector has witnessed a significant increase in recent years. In the middle of last year, a new VOD platform appeared in Poland – Viaplay – which seriously upset the market, grabbing broadcasting rights, among other things. German Bundesliga and Premier League. From 2023 it will also take over Formula 1. And it turns out that traditional television does relatively well in streaming new media. The pandemic helped her by drawing in viewers confined to their homes in front of their televisions – guests invited to participate in the discussion noted “Show Must Go On: The Future of Sports on Television” during the PB’s Sports Marketing Track at Impact’22.

– It’s just a temporary confusion, the distribution of content is moving to new places, but the TV still works very well, as we can see in the viewing results. I don’t think there is any concern about the future of this medium. When it comes to sports broadcasting, the demand for it largely depends on the performance of Polish players, although there are such disciplines, such as ski jumping, where viewership remains high, even with weaker results – confirmed Marian Kmita, Director of Sports on TV Polsat.

The development of television is also enhanced by the fact that it is increasingly involved in the production of content.

Television is often seen only in the context of a linear distribution of material, whereas for me it has always been primarily a content producer. The entities that represent the new generation, including ourselves, produce only a small part of what television produces – noted Alexander Wandzel, President of Studi, the largest independent producer of video content on Polish YouTube.

Quality, not quantity.

The arrival of new players means a new hand. Participants in the discussion argued that while there was a place for everyone in the market, viewers would check who would stay there longer. Speakers agreed that it is not just the broad scope of programming that is important – broadcast quality and appropriate sports commentary are equally important. The discussion was attended by: Marian Kmita, sports director of Polsat TV, Andrei J. Kozovsky, president of Emitel, and Alexander Wandzel, head of the studio (mediator on the left – Grzegorz Nawacki, editor-in-chief of “PB”).

Marek Wiśniewski

The fight for rights

While the TV industry is not worried that the new platforms will push stations out of the market, it does feel fierce competition for broadcasting rights.

– The result of the hard struggle for rights, for example in the Champions League, is that their prices are steadily growing. There are more and more players in the market, said Marianne Comita, and I am convinced that over time their number will increase even more.

Alexander Wandzel agreed with him.

– Today, there are no longer medium quality rights that achieve a good viewership, only blockbuster films that count. The situation is similar in the case of the cinema – in order for a film to sell well, it must have a large cast and budget to provide viewers with much more value than viewing at home – explained the head of Studi.

However, television has a certain advantage over new generation media – it is not affected by a large barrier to market entry in the form of limitations in the technological infrastructure.

– The number one problem that hurts the new platforms is the lack of broadband internet in Poland – many rural areas lack access to high-speed internet, especially in 5G. The second problem is the limited Internet and mobile technologies. Physically, they are unable to handle as much traffic as broadcast technologies or terrestrial and satellite television. From the Polish point of view, unpaid subscription bans are also a big problem. I think that many sports programs should be free, and only the big players can afford them – explained Andrzej J. Kozłowski, President of Emitel.

How do you attract young people?

Viewers’ expectations are not limited to the number of programs available. Participants in the discussion emphasized that the quality and stability of the transmission are equally important.

There is nothing worse than breaking serve during an exciting match. Television has already outgrown its childhood and there are no such incidents. Marian Kmita said: There is a place for everyone in the market, but to be successful, it is not enough just to produce content, it must also be properly packaged and sold.

Speakers agreed that the interest of young viewers in sports broadcasting is a major challenge for the entire industry. An effective way might be to promote a particular system through the entertainment industry.

A good example is the production of sports series, such as Formula 1 or Lakers. Often, viewers who like these products begin to be interested in a particular sport – said Andrzej J. Kozłowski.

Alexander Wendzel notes that the role of the media in producing YouTube content is also to attract viewers, especially young people, to traditional media.

– Today we can note many experiences in this field – for example rappers trying to comment on matches. We have an interest in that, because cooperation with entities already in the market allows us to use their technology and infrastructure. And the representative of Studi for them said that it is also profitable, because they see that the crowds of viewers are following us.

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