Play FAST or go home
Free Ad-Supported TV (FAST) offerings have taken the world by storm. Given the advantages FAST offers over its Over the Air (OTA) counterparts, it is seeing an explosive growth in demand and popularity, especially among young folks. The sports industry is not oblivious to this trend either. In fact, 63% of live sports fans won’t mind paying extra for a personalized live sports streaming experience.
According to Forbes, by 2023, 56.1 million US households are likely to give up paid TV services altogether and 90% of the youth prefer FAST services. These numbers paint a clear picture of how the preferences of sports fans are changing rapidly.
Watching sports: then vs now
Traditionally, the love for watching sports was a legacy passed on from one generation to the next. In contrast, almost all Gen Z kids today have their own smart devices to watch the games and follow their favorite sports, eliminating the role of a TV. Since free and high-quality immersive sports experience is just a few clicks away, the youngsters are increasingly drifting away from the conventional television set.
According to Statista, approximately 57.5 million viewers in the United States watched digital live sports content at least once per month in 2021, and this number is projected to reach over 90 million by 2025.
The definition of an immersive sports experience is also constantly evolving. More than buying tickets and watching games, fans are building digital communities, co-watching and engaging with each other. While this space is constantly evolving, sports teams need to catch up and offer more immersive experiences. Launching a FAST offering is a good way to engage better and open up newer monetization opportunities as well.
Read more: Streaming and eSports: A relationship that’s meant to be
What can sports teams gain from FAST?
- Old is gold: You are sitting on a gold mine; all you need to do is – make the most of your old content that is collecting dust in the archives. Segregating this gold mine of content into relevant subsections and making it available to the fans can open up newer revenue streams.
- Delightful fan experiences: With FAST-powered sports channels, fans can watch their favorite games, anytime, anywhere. All they need is a smartphone and an internet connection. Partnering with a good tech provider, you can ensure great broadcast-grade quality and low latency rates — a dream come true for every sports fan.
Some of the other perks for the fans include — exclusive backstage action, interviews, premium highlights, in-depth game analysis and a lot more. All in all — a hyper-personalized viewing experience for the fans.
- Laser-targeted advertising opportunities: A dedicated FAST platform can open up opportunities to run targeted ad campaigns. As fans are more likely to find these relevant to their likings, the chances of your ads doing well are high. It’s a win-win situation — you get better ad revenues and fans get relevant, non-intrusive ads.
Read more: SSAI: A deep dive into effective content monetization
In a nutshell, sports teams, no matter how big or small, have a lot to gain from adding their own FAST offerings in the mix. All you need is an experienced tech partner and you are all set.
Better fan-targeted content, improved engagement and viewership await you.
So what are you waiting for?
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