Uefa: Fans will become ‘directors’ of sports coverage ‘within a few years’

Fans will become the directors of the sports coverage they receive on media platforms ‘within a few years’ as the media markets evolve faster than ever before, Guy-Laurent Epstein, marketing director of Uefa Events, told the SportBusiness Summit in Miami today (Wednesday).

“Within a few years you will be the director of the game you are watching”, Epstein said. “If the match is PSG v Liverpool, for example, the Paris fan will be able to watch the whole match build-up from a PSG perspective and watch the match from a PSG angle. The Liverpool fan will be watching the same match from the same provider but seeing everything from a Liverpool angle.”

Increased personalisation in media coverage was one of several key trends which Epstein pointed to in a market which he said had evolved more quickly in the last 10 years than at any time in history.

Other important developments in the industry include:

  • a profound change in consumer habits, driven by viewers who are used to actively searching for what they want to see, rather than passively receiving linear channels
  • the entry into the market of operators which are not pure media players but are including media content as part of a wider offering, whether they are telecom companies like BT in the UK or online retailers and tech companies such as Amazon. “The market for sports rights is now a digital market not a media market”, he said
  • a polarisation of value, with more money being spent on the premium sports properties which really drive business and smaller federations increasing struggling to earn rights fees for their content and being forced to build value through other avenues, such as building fan data
  •  proliferation – cheaper production technologies opening up possibilities for football’s lower leagues and amateur leagues to find an audience.

Epstein was talking about the evolution of the sports-rights markets with John Duff, director of business development and strategy, US and Canada, beIN Media, John Gleasure, chief strategy office of the DAZN Group, and Robin Jellis, Editor of SportBusiness Media.