Making a Dent

Rob Nuttall, Broadcast Executive


Eleven Sports are making a dent in the UK sports coverage market after taking over the rights to La Liga and Serie A from Sky and, more recently, the UK coverage rights to UFC from BT Sport. These moves come hot on the trail of Amazon winning the ATP Tour tennis rights from Sky.

Eleven currently have no channel carriage deals to put their channels on TV so have decided to take a digital approach with both live streaming and on demand via apps and their website. They have also forged a partnership with Facebook to stream free content on their Facebook account. Revenue will come from subscriptions with ball park figures of £5.99 a month or £59.99 a year. Cheap, but this has to be added to the sports fans total bill of taking up Sky, BT Sport and Amazon’s football offering. Surely the average Joe’s pockets can only dig so deep?

La Liga and Serie A accounted for circa 5% of all Sky Men16-34 football impacts last season, so that’s arguably a 5% drop in value for avid football fans. The average Sky or BT Sport customer probably won’t mind losing one or two small competitions/sports as long as their respective provider keeps hold of the lion’s share of those elite level competitions – the Premier League and Champions League.

The concern for the big boys is that if Eleven and Amazon keep chipping away at their offering, will consumers start to question the value of those lucrative triple-play broadband, phone and TV contracts?

We look forward to tuning in to the first Eleven and Amazon broadcasts, and negotiating exciting comms opportunities in and around them, but whether they represent a sea-change in the sports broadcast landscape remains to be seen.