SportBusiness speaks with Monaco Mediax chief executive Laurent Puons ahead of next week’s Sportel conference in Bali, Indonesia.
SportBusiness: SPORTEL is back in Asia after years away. What made you decide that the beautiful beaches of Bali are the best place for the industry to reconvene?
Laurent Puons: We had the unique opportunity to be contacted by Peter F. Gontha from Transvision to organize a SPORTEL edition together in Indonesia. We are thrilled because Indonesia is definitely a strategic location to host a SPORTEL event! As the fourth largest population and one of the fastest growing economies, the interest in sports and technology in Indonesia is huge.
Currently in the middle of the OTT streaming war, Indonesia’s broadcast landscape is evolving at a very fast pace: more global sports properties are being broadcast and the digital FTA migration initiate the launch of new sports channels. In addition, Indonesia is also becoming a global sports event destination. Several valuable and exciting challenges as well as business opportunities for the sports media and tech market players.
And Bali was an easy choice. In addition to offering a flourishing Tech-Hub ecosystem and therefore new business market, Bali is easily accessible through its international airport, notably from Australia, Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia, Istanbul etc.
SB: The sports broadcasting and streaming industry is facing some significant challenges across Asia-Pacific at present and is in a period of transition. What are the advantages of an industry-wide conference such as SPORTEL during such headwinds? What value does SPORTEL bring to the industry?
LP: SPORTEL’s added-value is bringing together the whole sports business industry in one place. Technology companies, broadcasters, streaming services and sports federations network and exchange, not just to find new clients but also to understand the future of the industry.
SPORTEL Monaco is our flagship event, with 7000 square meters of market floor and 2000 participants meeting, networking and brokering deals during the 3 day event.
Like SPORTEL Miami, SPORTEL Bali is a regional event focusing on the APAC Market so that our community can meet the business leaders from the region that are not attending SPORTEL Monaco. Indeed, the Asian participation only represented 8,5% of our participants, during the last SPORTEL Monaco.
Our European and American clients such as Bundesliga, Dorna Sports, FIFA, IMG, Lega Serie A, LaLiga, LF, NBA, Formula E, PGA Tour, Premier League, Sportfive and many more, are coming to SPORTEL Bali to meet and reconnect with the key rights holders and broadcasters as well as sports industry players from Asia and Oceania (Culver Max/Sony from India, Fox Sports from Australia, Coupang from Japan, TransTV, Trans7 of course and IEG, MNC among others from Indonesia, but also Asian Football Confederation, Asia Pacific Broadcast Union, ESL, Reddentes, SPOTV etc).
SB: How do you see the future of the sports broadcasting and streaming industry in APAC? What are the most exciting things to look out for over the course of this decade?
LP: These two variables will continue to greatly expand within the decade in the region. Indeed, sports media rights revenues in APAC are experiencing a post-COVID rebound that will continue to grow by 6% annually until 2026. In addition, although the streaming services seem saturated in Europe and North America, there is still space to expand in the APAC market, which is in great expansion with US$ 49,2 Billion OTT total revenues in 2022. That’s why there is a real interest from our community to go back in this region.
SB: What can delegates learn at the conference from SPORTEL’s masterclasses, keynotes and panels? What are the highlights over the two days?
LP: The Conference Summit at Speakers Corner, will provide delegates with an informed regional focus and masterclass and presentation topics that are aligned to SPORTEL’s core market values within sports media and tech. The insightful content will provide delegates opportunities to engage in thought-provoking discussions led by influential sports business executives, spanning an international blend of cultures and experience featuring speakers from Indonesia, Asia, Europe, North America and beyond. Highlights include three collaborative panels with SportBusiness which cover the state of the industry through the “Big Picture in Asia”, the exponential success of international football properties within Asia, plus how the regional esports and specifically mobile esports sector is brimming with opportunities for savvy media companies. Additional panels throughout the programme include a look at how diversity in sports media leadership is gaining pace across the region and a look at the explosive growth in motorsports and also in women’s sports. From a business tech perspective, the latest in OTT and streaming strategies and the hot trend of FAST channels and the opportunities within this space, plus the influence and innovation the cloud and AI are having on sports and broadcast and for the first time our innovative “Pitch Session”, will all provide delegates with vital insights to complement their business meetings during the two day market which can help them to evaluate and make informed strategic decisions when doing business in Asia.
SB: How is SPORTEL adapting to the changes in Asia’s sports industry over the past few years? Has there been a conscious shift in panel and masterclass topics this year?
LP: SPORTEL is back in Asia after a four-year hiatus which included the passage of the COVID pandemic. The global shifts in the industry during this time and still ongoing in certain territories, have of course had a strong impact across Asia and the SPORTEL community. The conference programme has expanded from earlier SPORTEL Asia events, with the significant development of our expert panel “Masterclass” offerings alongside case study presentations, which reflect the pulse of the market discussions on our trade floor and are illustrated throughout the exhibits. The Conference Summit across SPORTEL events has now become an integral fixture in the format and well received by an ever growing number of clients interested to speak or join the debate from the audience at Speakers Corner.
SB: It won’t be long before SPORTEL lands in Miami. What can we expect from the conference there in May?
LP: After a sold-out edition in March 2022, introducing the new Rendez-vous format, SPORTEL Rendez-vous Miami will be back from 9 to 10 May, following directly on to the 2023 F1 Miami Grand Prix.After a focus on the APAC market in Bali, the Miami edition will naturally gather sports decision makers within the Americas.
Miami 2022 was a real success with figures superseding the two last editions (more than 500 participants from 290 companies, including 80 first timer companies). This year, we will take up the challenge to increase the number of participants and continue to reach out to new companies in order to offer new business opportunities to our community.