Digital Shift: The Future of Sports Media

Digital Transformation

As consumers continue to gravitate towards online mediums of entertainment, ditching the traditional TV broadcast, the industry is going through a revolution of sorts, with most content consumed on mobile devices and computer screens.

The landscape of sports media is experiencing a rapid shift. Gone are the days when television dominated, and sports channels were compulsory in basic cable subscriptions. The internet is changing the game, gradually removing television from the equation and introducing a host of streaming and video-on-demand services in its place.

As consumers continue to gravitate towards online mediums of entertainment, ditching the traditional TV broadcast, the industry is going through a revolution of sorts, with most of content being consumed on mobile devices and computer screens. And with the advent of new technology such as virtual reality, immersive video, and 360 video, consumers are being introduced to new ways in which content is presented.

ONE Championship, the largest martial arts organization in the world, has recognized this shift in sports media and is following suit, exploring a multitude of digital channels on which to offer its sports content.

One way in which the company has sparked change in its digital platform is through partnering with social media platform, Twitter, which broadcasts the preliminary segment of ONE Championship’s live events for free to a worldwide audience. Fans from all across the globe need only tune in to ONE Championship’s Twitter feed during event night, as well as on Twitter video streaming service Periscope, in order to catch all the action free of charge.

After the preliminary bouts, the content switches to online pay-per-view where users can catch the main card at a small fee. This formula has produced immense success for ONE Championship over the past few years. There is even a ONE Championship mobile app in the development stages, which aims to bring content even closer to fans of their unique brand of martial arts.

Through strategical social media integration, ONE Championship has been able to engage its worldwide audience on multiple levels. As a result, the company has experienced phenomenal growth, as evidenced by incredible statistical postings in 2017.

According to statistics gathered by Nielsen, Facebook, and Repucom, ONE Championship has posted incredible viewership statistics and audience reach in 2017. The company has managed to garner a whopping 14-billion social media impressions in 2017 from just 352-million in 2014, which is more than a 39x increase. Social media video views were even more impressive, totalling 2.6-billion across multiple platforms compared to a meagre 312 thousand just three years prior.

In the past three years alone, ONE has come to a peak TV ratings share of 1-2% to a staggering 11-36% projected by the end of 2017. That is up to 36x the amount of growth. In comparison, TV ratings in Asia for global sports media properties such as the EPL, F1, and the NBA only sit at 1-6%. This includes an increase in annual TV broadcast per core country, coming from 12-18 hours to a phenomenal 100-2800 hours, a more than 230x spike.

ONE Championship’s effectivity in creating unique content that users, particularly in Asia, can relate to has paid dividends. In Asian nations such as the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, and the like, ONE Championship’s digital offering is already incredibly popular and will only grow more in the next few years as the company explores more digital platforms.

The future of sports media is in the digital sphere, with the internet being the catalyst for new technology to develop and flourish. You can’t just sit in front of the TV anymore.

For more insights on the business of sports broadcast, join ONE Championship’s Chief Financial Officer, Hua Fung Teh, at ConnecTechAsia Summit 2018’s BroadcastMedia Track. Suntec Singapore, 26 June 2018.

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