DAZN Group CTO Florian Diederichsen talks about the future of OTT and the sport SVOD service’s rapid growth. In this Streaming Forum keynote preview, OTT Will Soon Replace Broadcast TV Streaming Services Diederichsen said “Our vision is to do for sport what Spotify has done for music and Netflix has done for TV.”
What is OTT?
Over the top (OTT) is a term used to refer to content providers that distribute streaming media as a standalone product directly to viewers over the Internet, bypassing telecommunications, multichannel television, and broadcast television platforms that traditionally act as a controller or distributor of such content.
The Future of OTT
DAZN has gone from the stands to playing on the same field as pay TV operators when it comes to delivering first-tier sport events to viewers in Europe, Canada, and now the U.S. It launched in 2016 in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and Japan, and not long after gained the rights to the NFL in Canada. In 2018, it announced a blockbuster $1 billion deal with Matchroom to deliver boxing matches in both the UK and U.S. via SVOD, a break from boxing’s traditional PPV model. DAZN, the sports streaming service that launched last month in the U.S., has announced a five-year deal with boxing superstar Canelo Alvarez. The arrangement includes 11 fights annually. According to DAZN, the deal, valued at a minimum of $365 million, is the “richest sports contract in history.” So May 4 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas for his middleweight world-title-unification fight against Canelo vs Jacobs live streaming also on DAZN.
DAZN Group CTO Florian Diederichsen will be one of our keynote speakers at Streaming Forum in London on 26 February, and we chatted with him via email about DAZN’s growth and its plans for the future.
Streaming Media: DAZN has been called the “Netflix of sport” and has attempted to disrupt the world of sport streaming, which has traditionally been either part of a pay TV bundle or sold on a per-event basis. What made DAZN decide the market was ripe for the subscription model?
Diederichsen: Sport is one of the last industries to benefit from the digital revolution, still being largely bundled with legacy satellite pay TV subscriptions in many countries. At the same time, the cost to watch sport has become far too high, pricing many out of the action.
Yet, sport is uniquely positioned to be enhanced by digital—with multiple fixtures often happening at the same time, and far too many for traditional sport broadcasters to show. The result is producers decide what to show, which doesn’t serve fans.
We saw the gap in the market before anyone else to launch a global pure sport streaming service, unlimited in the amount of live games it can show concurrently, available for an affordable price, payable my any means, no long-term contract, and watchable on almost any screen or device.
We went live in Japan, Germany, Austria and Switzerland in 2016 and have seen rapid growth and great successes—now live in seven countries, including Italy, U.S., and Canada, with Spain and Brazil soon to launch. We got out of the blocks first, and now it’s about staying ahead.