Subscription OTT services’ global spend on sports rights in 17 major markets around the world will reach $8.5 billion in 2023 — up 64% versus 2022, projects Ampere Analysis.
The research also predicts that the platforms’ share of total global spending on sports rights will leap to 21%, from 13% in 2022.
Up to now, subscription OTT services’ spend on sports rights has lagged their investment in original TV and film content. In 2022, 28% of original content spending was from streaming platforms such as Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video and Apple TV+.
But the sports streaming model has been strengthened by improved livestreaming technology, fans’ increased expectation of being able to stream their favorite sports, and the weakened pay-TV model, which has incentivized media owners to strike sports deals with streaming platforms.
DAZN leads the way in sports rights investment, particularly in Europe. The global OTT sports streaming service accounted for more than half
(54%) of all subscription OTT services’ spend on sports rights in 2022.
But general entertainment streamers, including Peacock and Viaplay, have also accelerated sports rights spending in recent years as part of their push to differentiate themselves in an increasingly crowded market.
Amazon’s September 2022 groundbreaking deal with the National Football League — since surpassed in size by YouTube’s deal with the NFL — was arguably the turning point for sports on general entertainment OTT platforms, observes Ampere.
General entertainment services accounted for six of the top 10 subscription OTT services by global spend on sports rights in 2022.
The transition to streaming will take longer for sports than for other genres due to the multiple-year terms of most sports rights deals, the high value of sports rights, and the “sensitivities characterizing the distribution and consumption of sports,” notes Jack Genovese, Research Manager at Ampere Analysis.“The need for high-quality, low-latency feeds will continue to favor risk-averse behavior among broadcasters and rights owners alike,” he adds. “However, streaming will offer opportunities for sports to experiment with content, distribution and monetization, which will revolutionize the way sports rights are sold and bought in the future."
The projections are based on Ampere’s Sports – Media Rights, which tracks data on sports TV rights in the world’s largest markets, and Sports – Consumer, an ongoing series of interviews with sports fans in 12 countries. The countries included in the spending projections are the U.S., U.K., Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Australia, Brazil, Netherlands, Poland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Japan, India and South Africa.
I don't think this includes the considerable amount of streaming viewed from cable services (ESPN, network sports, etc.).