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Amazon and Facebook waking up to the value of live sports content, as EPL...

It is more than a quarter of a century since Rupert Murdoch vowed to use premium sports content, specifically from the newly-formed English Premier League (EPL), as a “battering ram” to sell Pay TV subscriptions in the UK. Now, with Internet players like Google, Amazon and Facebook waking up to the value of live sports content, the rights industry is heading for another revolution. The German investment bank Berensberg believes Amazon is prepared to take a loss on an EPL deal. Meanwhile, Disney looks like a realistic home for direct-to-consumer sport.

Winter Olympics will become the first ‘social media games’

There will be an avalanche of social media support for the Winter Olympic Games over the next fortnight. Olympic Broadcasting Services has prepared for its largest social media production ever, driven by video clips, compilations and athlete interviews. Eurosport has invested in its own social media content creation effort, using a team of 50 in PyeongChang, as part of a wider ‘digital-first’ play that is accompanied by a bespoke initiative to measure multi-platform consumption.

The rise of IP-into-broadcast ‘hybrid’ linear addressable advertising

Sport1 overlayed IP-delivered ads into broadcast signals in 2015, without fully substituting them, as an interactive ‘wrap-around’. ProSiebenSat takes a similar approach with its SwitchIn product. Last year RTL fully replaced ads inside the broadcast signal with ads that were delivered over IP, as a proof-of-concept. Now the DVB is using this approach as the basis for its future linear addressable advertising standard for the broadcast market.

Orange and CANAL+ Group test linear addressable advertising ahead of hoped-for regulatory approval

The French TV industry has been lobbying the government to reform the regulation that prevents household targeting in linear television, and it is hoped that addressable [linear] advertising could get the green light this year. In anticipation, Orange and CANAL+ have been getting ready – first with catch-up trials and now with linear IPTV that uses a smart multicast-to-unicast ‘tuning’ application for ad insertion.

Broadcasters and DTT market must control their own addressable advertising destiny, or face serious...

After studying whether the DTT broadcast market needs addressable TV advertising, the DVB has concluded that it does – and will be put at risk without it. The new Targeted Advertising standards initiative is designed to deliver a broadcaster-friendly technical framework that puts them in control of their own destiny, with the work of HbbTV at the heart of it.

Broadcasters must maximise the ad-value of live streaming, before someone else does

Live/linear TV still has huge value to advertisers as it delivers mass concurrent viewership at a time when audiences are becoming more fragmented. Born-online media firms can see the attraction, and are increasingly interested in sports. To keep their dominant position, broadcasters need to maximise the value of their online distribution. Dynamic ad insertion is one solution, but it must be combined with better user experiences.

Apple makes a bid to become the super-aggregator of streaming TV

A recent iOS update puts television at the heart of Apple’s video app and has echoes of Amazon Channels, except that here you can find top broadcaster content that is free. In the UK, you can link directly from Apple into BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, My5 – and even Netflix and Amazon Prime Video if you subscribe to these services. This is a multi-app curation and discovery offering that combines free and paid – but as it stands it is not a threat to either pay or free-to-air platforms.

TV4 Group confident that it has passed the point of peak disruption

Since hitting an AVOD market share low in 2016, the Swedish broadcast group has bounced back and digital viewing is now driving overall revenue growth and profit. The company is confident that a combination of great content, transparent trading and reporting, and careful use of first-party data gives it an advertising advantage over born-online rivals. Now the broadcaster wants to move as much of its inventory as possible from linear into digital.

The tyranny of choice, and whether it leads back to Pay TV

The proliferation of direct-to-consumer and SVOD services has improved consumer choice (including available price-points) but it is debatable whether the user experience, looking through multiple apps for content, is better. Have we reached high water mark for standalone apps viewing, and can Pay TV platforms tempt viewers to watch more of their streamed content via their user interface?

The Connies 2018 are open for entries

The Connies, the definitive awards to champion innovation across the television and media ecosystem, are now open for entries until February 16. Categories include 'Video Technology Hero', 'Best TV/Video Service Update or Launch' and 'Contribution to User Experience - TV & Video'. Last year’s winners included Freeview Australia for its ‘One click live TV on the go’ mobile streaming service, YouView for its next-generation platform and Harmonic for its Cloud-Native VOS software-based media processing technology.

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