What if we are approaching a tipping point when accessing sports content on tablets and smartphones is a more common activity than watching sports on a TV screen at home?
What if one day people were no longer prepared to pay for 300
channels when they only ever watch 10?
What if European football fans began to crave data in the same way as an MLB fan in the US?
Given that nobody knows that the world will look like in five years’ time, what if many of the assumptions we are now working on about sports media are wrong?
And what if every commercial decision in sports was made with the
interests of the fan in mind?
In an age in which developments in technology and communications are rewriting the rule book every year, knowing the fan – what the fan does, wants to do, dreams of being able to do – is the surest, perhaps the only, way of future-proofng your business.
The pace of technological change outstrips the speed at which governments can legislate, authorities can draw up regulatory measures, multinationals can adapt their business models, or content producers – certainly those locked into three- or fve-year sales cycles – can update their sales strategies.
At the time of writing, for example, a case before the US Supreme Court is pitting an internet streaming company – Barry Diller’s Aereo
– against virtually the entire US broadcasting industry (ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox) and two of its biggest sports leagues (NFL and MLB).
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