TO BE: Europe’s public broadcasters are racing for the fences and launching a free streaming service, Eurovision Sport.
Produced by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the European broadcasters’ union, this new viewer is hitting more than 50 markets today. The EBU says it will change the game for viewers and rights holders.
Few sports dominate the European TV market, especially football, which commands the most viewers and the richest rights. The EBU and Eurovision Sport strategies involve bringing together live sports, and making them available together in one place.
“The biggest learning when I came to the EBU was the power of combining small sports, like [International Olympic Committee] “It’s been doing it for generations,” Glen Killane, Executive Director of Sports at the EBU told Deadline. all the countries we represent. We will also go all over the world. ”
Eurovision Sport continues where it started with athletics, gymnastics, skiing and swimming. The first events it will host include the World Athletics Indoor Championships, the ongoing World Aquatic Championships and the soon-to-be-started Biathlon World Championships. Its aim is to promote seven educational groups and participate in up to 25 organizations.
Discussions are underway to bring FIFA+, the OTT program and service run by the world governing body for football, to Eurovision Sport. It can be added to this line without exception. International moves are also underway, with Canada’s CBC on board and talking to other members in Australia, Japan and elsewhere.
Killane said building the platform has been a major focus since leading the gaming sector in 2020, as he believes the proliferation of gaming services is creating “consumer challenges.”
How many programs do we need? And how many subscriptions can I sign to watch my favorite games?” he added.
Eurovision Sport is possible because the EBU negotiates sports rights on behalf of its members. It currently offers 43,000 games a year, sourced from 28 international organizations.
The streaming service will have activities that its members do not have in their main activities, and it can be available as a stand-alone service or integrated with the broadcaster, making it a dedicated player for them.
The business also made sense for organizations that own more sports rights. Often their events are relegated to the outer reaches of the pay TV EPG or the corner of YouTube, which means they are forgotten when they need eyewitnesses to grow. “Women’s sports in particular – women’s soccer and other sports – need a lot of turbocharging,” Killane said. “Burying them behind paywalls at this stage, at the embryonic stage, slows down the stock and doesn’t help it grow.”
For many viewers, ‘Eurovison’ is short for the Eurovision Song Contest, the European mini-singer of the extraordinary. The new service replaces the impressive ‘united by music’ and ‘united by sport’ songs. The connective tissue between the two, Killane said, in this game, like music brings people together: “All experiences are very important to our DNA, and that’s what we’re trying to do with this.”
Eurovision Sport will be supported by commercials, if allowed, and will be profitable in three years, according to the EBU’s business plan. The main goal is to change the way viewers think about sports, which, for many, has become synonymous with pay TV.
“One of the most important things that we set out when I took up this position was to re-position the media for European advocacy,” Killane said. “To plant the flag again and say, ‘Listen, the media is a huge contributor to sports in Europe.'”