The streaming industry has been around for close to three decades. In 1995, a US sports channel held the first live sports stream for a baseball game, with thousands of global listeners. This must’ve had an enormous impact on the fans, as streaming has since seen massive growth as the years have gone by. Presently, you can stream audio and video sports content and witness the action live for much-anticipated games.
Indeed, it’s undeniable that streaming is changing the sports industry, and these developments seem to be permanent. So, if you’re wondering how exactly streaming is changing the sports industry, below are four examples.
It’s slowly taking over the TV sports broadcasting industry
The first live television sports broadcast was held back in 1939. And for years afterward, broadcasting held the monopoly by being the primary consumption medium for sports fans. To watch a match from a channel, you had to pay for a cable TV subscription, which was rather costly.
But thanks to streaming, you can now watch major shows like AFL and NRL and cheer for your favorite team, all in real time. And the perk is that you’ll spend little on subscription fees or nothing at all if you’re using free sports streaming sites. With streaming, you don’t need a commentator to tell you how the action is unwinding on the field, as you’ll be witnessing it live. And the videos displayed are of high quality and capture all angles of the game.
On account of this, the broadcasting industry is losing customers as streaming takes over the industry. A survey from 2019 indicated that 52% of sports fans who watched their matches online were planning to abandon cable TV and switch entirely to streaming. As of 2021, 45% had already migrated to a streaming platform. And because of the current trend of the internet taking over many aspects of life, it won’t be surprising if this number increases over time.
Being accessible makes it more suitable for a wider audience
One significant upside of streaming your sports videos is that you can watch them from anywhere in the world. Whether it’s F1 or Supercars you want to stream, all you need is a decent internet connection and a video streaming device, such as a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or smart TV. Thus, even if you don’t have a cable subscription, you can still watch sports games.
Streaming has thus expanded the boundaries of watching sports beyond stadiums. You can watch the game at home or even while on the go, as most streaming gadgets are easily portable, unlike TVs.
The convenience draws in more users
Before the advent of streaming technology, you either had to wait at home for a TV or radio sports broadcast, watch an after-match recorded video, or actually go to the stadium to watch the match live. The latter of the three options provided the most thrill, as you would get direct access to the players and the game.
Exciting as it may be, attending a live game at a stadium is not only costly but can also be uncomfortable, especially if you’re in the middle of a crowd of rowdy fans. Suffice to say, it’s not for everyone. Furthermore, this option is only viable for fans within the locality of the stadium hosting the match.
There’s also the fact that it isn’t always reliable. You’re not guaranteed to get a ticket before they’re sold out. If you do get one, you might get a seat in a row where you can’t watch the match clearly, or certain factors, such as the weather, could at least get you out of going to the sports arena.
These issues do not exist for streaming channels or services. While in the comfort of your home, you can watch an entire match live. The video is usually high-quality, and the game is captured from all angles. You can witness every second of the game and watch all the match highlights.
And if that’s not enough, most streaming channels usually have a record of the previous matches they’ve shown. Thus, you can replay it as much as you want. These recorded videos also come in handy if you don’t make it in time for the live coverage, as you can watch it at any convenient time. In Australia, sports streaming is offered by both sports-dedicated streaming services and free to air networks, although the former provides more content and experience-enhancing features.
It takes fan engagement to a higher level
Online live streaming is changing the way sports networks and fans interact with each other and with the sport. Fans aren’t limited to just watching the games. They can now interact with the sport wholly.
Some streaming services or sites have comment sections where you can input your thoughts or feedback on the game’s development through live chats. Others have betting sections where you can place a live bet as the game unfolds, as well as other new forms of engagement. These online platforms allow global fans to interact, increasing the community reach and connecting fans across the world.
Streaming has made a massive impact on the sports sector. And as various sports are migrating to this online method of showcasing their games, so are the fans, who are using their gadgets and watching games through online live videos. This is because streaming is growing in popularity by the day and replacing the broadcasting sector. It’s more accessible and convenient, and it makes fan engagement more active and fun. Considering these facts, it won’t be surprising if streaming completely overtakes live broadcasting in the near future.