Improving the broadcast and OTT experience has the potential to improve overall fan satisfaction, resulting in increased opportunity for better financial outcomes.
In the Arab world, sport has played an increasingly significant role as a soft power. Not only has it helped launch small nations onto the international arena, it has also played a significant role in contributing to a country’s economy.
The UAE recognised this a long time ago and has gradually been adding more sports events to its annual calendar. Qatar began this journey a few years ago and is prepping to host the 2022 World Cup, while Saudi Arabia has been playing catch-up over the last two years since the Kingdom opened its doors to various forms of entertainment.
At BroadcastPro Middle East’s virtual Future of Sports Broadcasting Summit, we had some interesting conversations on how sports is being tackled both on the world stage and more uniquely in the Arab world. With streaming services having scored a big win during the lockdown and enjoying greater appeal among younger audiences, stakeholders agreed that rights contracts would need to be revisited and renegotiated. An interesting fact brought to our attention by UK-based piracy expert Synamedia was that in MENA alone, the loss of potential revenue in sports only to broadcasters, TV operators and others was a whopping $3.25bn. That gives an idea of the money at stake in this region for sports, and why it is held in such high regard by governments. We had a fantastic line-up of high-level speakers at our sports conference, discussing new trends and challenges in light of Covid-19.
Our issue this month is almost entirely focused on various aspects of the sports broadcast business and the discussions at our conference. Our exclusive cover story this month also sheds light on a new set of combat sports that has been brought to the UAE with all the fanfare that can enable it to be monetised.
In the meantime, I am sure all of you have heard that CABSAT has been postponed to October. But every cloud has a silver lining. CABSAT will be back during the Expo and promises to bring along an additional element that will especially be interesting to the content market. But until then, watch out for the Broadcast Tech Conference that we will be hosting in June. Stay tuned.