More sports TV programming channels continue to look for success. Why? The constant lure of big advertisers' interest, more live and less time-shifted programming -- and young viewers.
One World Sports, owned by Dallas-based One Media Corp. focuses on international sports and hopes to join the ranks of new growing sports TV networks that include NBC Sports Network, Universal Sports, beIN Sport, a yet-to-come national TV network from Fox Sports, and others.
In a survey of some 2,100 U.S.TV consumers ages 18 to 70, One World Sports -- in a commissioned study from Frank N. Magid Associates -- says that 56% expressed interest in watching international sports, with that number rising to 60% for young viewers 18-34.
One World Sports isn't alone in this arena. Universal Sports offer up a range of Olympic sports from around the world -- swimming, track and field, gymnastics, cycling. Al-Jazeera Media Network's beIN Sport has a heavy schedule of big-time European soccer football leagues, cycling and other sports.
From the TV networks' perspective, sports programming can offer relatively stable viewership. It is also content that viewers want to see live -- not time-shifted, a big plus to national TV advertisers.
How does One World Sports plan to fit in? For its part, the year-old One World Sports airs 12 Asian soccer leagues, 72 home games of the big Japanese baseball team, Yomiuri Giants, as well as basketball from China, cricket, rugby, badminton and other sports.
Beth Sanford, vice president of marketing for One World Sports, says: "We clearly have upscale, more educated viewers. There is much broader interest overall in global sports in the population at large."
She adds: "Secondly, those consumers [from the study] that stood out the most are the millennials, who are important in terms of the distribution community because of cord-shaving and cord-cutting, as well as a good advertising target as well."
Right now, the network has limited distribution -- somewhat less than 20 million subscribers, coming mostly from TV distributors Dish Network, Cablevision Systems and Mediacom.
Much has been made of growing sports TV channels and the growing subscriber fee cost to cable operators, satellite programming and telco operators. As a result, many TV distributors have looked to putting more sports TV networks on pay-TV tiers.