Part 1 of this Connected Sports Series looked at one particular TV Everywhere service from NBC Sports, it’s weaknesses and areas for improvement to prevent users from wanting to throw their computer or tablet out the window.
Let’s now look at the mixed bag of TV Everywhere and virtual MVPDs available to live stream sports programming.
I stayed in the Friday night when Netflix’s Original Series,The Get Down, debuted, binge-watching all six episodes. The approximately six hours of viewing time was a priority for me (and a true joy) but nothing holds an urgency candle to viewing my sport, which was Arsenal’s first match of the Premier League season, on NBCSports.com live as its happening.
Sports and breaking news content have been the two main forms of live linear television watching that people tune into, although network news is actually in a weaker position than sports given the multitude of sources one can access that do not involve licensing agreements (think citizen journalism using Facebook Live, which has resulted in its own complex legal and ethical issues).
Right now is a time of contemplation for the “we’ve always done it this way” business models. In every industry, the old ways are crumbling as new ideas mesh with technology, filling demand gaps in industries and redistributing market share. Aside from the commonly referenced transportation and hospitality markets, it is the making of entertainment content that will see a tidal wave of change in the coming years.
The company causing this butterfly effect: Netflix.
“Entertainment and technology are continuing to transform each other as they have been doing for over 100 years,” said Reed Hastings this past January during his CES keynote.
Earlier this year I complained about the weaknesses of NBC Sports’ live streaming platform, that it would freeze or just not work altogether. Back then I was hoping the networks’ digital team would take the timing of SXSW 2016 and their sponsorship of SXsports, which turns Austin’s Four Seasons into an NBC-branded sports conference, to introduce a new and improved NBCSN.
It didn’t happen.