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Read this: Sports broadcasters fight for our attention

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Sports broadcasters fight for our attent…



BBC sounds music Radio podcasts hello, I'm Andrea catherwood, and this is the media show from BBC Radio 4 what are summer of sport? This is sport is all over TV and coverage of these major sports events is what were focusing on today the Olympics is on we've just had the euros does a new cricket competition called the 100 trying time.bbc as well as sky but in this age of infinite choice live sport has to complete the hold our attention does sport need to be more attractive than an hour fortnite for example on Netflix or tiktok and has the amount of money TV companies are prepared to pay for sport full during the pandemic of the questions for my car panels sporting supremos today and between them.

They are reaching hundreds of millions of viewers Andrew Georgiou is president of sports at Discovery he is.

Us from Tokyo and the Olympics where it is very late at night.

So thank you very much for joining us and mineral MoDA Carvery Sport for a analysis Sanjay Patel is the director of the 104 England Wales Cricket Board Sanjay the 100 has got matches on every day you want to bring cricket to a new wider or how the ratings going for it so far.

What are the TV audiences like the reaction in area and on on on Broadcast all that first week with reached 8.4 million people 3.3 million people have never watched it before this year, so that suggest that we're eating a new audience however just blown away by the two games that woman talking game at 1.9 million which is a peek.

Great for women giving domestic cricket and the men's 2.5 million so far we've been really I get blown away by figures hear more from you on that later will also be hearing from Brian Henderson director of cricket for Sky Sports but let's start with GB gold medals and the Olympics coverage on TV this week Andrew Georgiou is president of Sport at Discovery Andrew you are the main broadcaster for the Olympics in Britain and indeed much of Europe just give us an idea of how big this operation is for you.

Can you give us a sense of the scale?

Yeah, but is enormous operation that's true or not.

They're not just the broadcast operation but in tyre Olympics in Tokyo is you know tens of thousands of people who've dad 11000 athletes + 10000 officials and volunteers and other to come to actually make this show happen.

What is the biggest show on earth quite frankly when it comes to installing a bit for sure licences is in you know several thousand in size.

We have scaled back out the number of people we have sent to Tokyo obviously given the situation here.

So you are sending less people than we had originally planned and Environment with the additional procedures and things that we have to do in order to keep the definition of like Sophie's become a logistical challenges and you've got the rights to the Olympic games and what 50 European territories.

Yeah, we broadcast the markets in 19 different languages across our keypad forms.

You're over Spalding most of the European markets and pause Discovery plus which we launched in seven European markets including the UK where the launch has gone really really well.

There was a bit of controversy here last week when viewers realise that BBC 10 word showing the games on terrestrial TV in the same way that they did in London in 2012 or in 2016 and Rio just explain what the deal.

Is that you have BBC how's that working for this particular is actually the right shoulder hour contract with the IOC doesn't actually start until the Beijing Beijing and Paris 24-hour in order for us to ensure that the BBC continue to have access to the games in 2022 and 2024.

This year both these games and the next cycle of games between our two platforms and that's what we've got with them.

That's what's in place right now.

What are the 1.3 billion is public information, so that's in the marketplace and that's what we paid for two cycles of Olympic Sochi winter games and to summer games unusual is the way that the Olympics TV rights have been awarded.

I mean does a governing body in this case the IOC prefer to deal with individual markets with really big right so the likes of FIFA all the Premier League be sometimes over territory by territory, because you're able to get more right.

Its revenue by doing it like that that actually we've seen from the likes of UEFA he's sold their women's Champions League rights globally because they saw an opportunity that so what we might end up seeing is rights holders shift a little bit more towards more regional.

Just for the year I guess as well.

There anyone dealing with one person rather than having to deal with several different companies within the territories Andrew I know that take people in the UK little bit by surprise and that Discovery Eurosport had these that had the Olympics did Discovery undercook it slightly in terms of promotion and advertising in the UK now.

I don't think so, I think you're obviously Discovery passes and you service in the UK so I think people are still getting familiar with that service and up until this month in fact sport did feature on Discovery pass away using the Olympics to really showcase the breadth of content that Discovery pass can actually give the British Public and a really good way of being able to do that and play actually nice promotional vehicle and other reasons we have included the Olympics on Discovery prices to increase awareness and to showcase the breadth of content that we do have on that.

I'm not sure it's under and Eurosport is another platform that we also have which is in 14 million homes in the UK so you know it is a pretty broad distribution that we've been up again and have you any idea yet? I well it's working I mean have you got new subscriber as because of the Olympics do you know that yet the the level of interest in Olympics been really really strong and we haven't released official figures.

Yeah, will do so probably in the next couple of days as we get the first time of week under our belt, but what I can say is the best digital platforms have performed exceptionally well a free platforms in eurosport.com have seen a record number of visitors and the uptake and engagement Discovery pass is also been really really positive for 499 for a month subscription you get every single event on Discovery past and that's the only place you can get it so

Non reasonable deal especially with are offering a free 3-day trial up until Sunday this week.

We bring you in here.

You're director at the ECB and there is a dilemma ISA is it all sports bodies faces you can sell the rights of your event to the the highest bidder and make lots of money, but there is a risk and the fewer people will watch it at cricket does know all about that of course at the Seaward would probably be getting more viewers in the UK if the BBC had all the rights to Tokyo so how do you make that judgement the right balance between Revenue and reach the sky hotels every single bowl of the 100 live with the men and women competition, but they've also given extensive reach across their channels using Sky Sports main event.

Sky 1 and Sky Sports YouTube so we feel like we've got really good reach Corsa sky platform and then obviously if you supplement that with the 11 live on BBC that that really nice balance between getting enough revenue into built-in vest and the tournament to make it what it is, but also getting that reads right to make sure that you reach more people and we will bring the other name for crickets of course the 100 is a completely new formats in cricket.

Why did you feel the new format wasn't we weren't going asked her and we want to get more families involved and particularly young younger people so it important that we had a format that actually we could get into specific space of time so we were finishing are games roughly around 9:15.

That allows families to get home when were doing T20 we were going beyond that 9:45 10:00 and we felt that the game was really important and around ok well as we said the right to shared with the BBC and Sky and your own I spoke to Brian Henderson he's director of cricket at Sky Sports I asked him at what point they got involved in the 100 to be a 20-20 competition as part of a new five-year deal that ran from 2020 to 2024 and yeah, they said it was meant to be a T20 competition.

They came to us in 2018 and suggested that the format changed to 290th when that was pitch to us.

Really closely with PCB and indeed with the BBC and transforming new competition that is actually that a broadcaster is involved in creating a CV format of a nuisance new format yeah, yeah, it's been a really interesting process and I think it's been a really good process and I think ECB sky and BBC we'll all agree that working closely together.

It's been a really good idea collaboration when we when we committed to spending over a billion pounds to the 2 to the 2 to sport as part of this kind of wider deal the the the boss of the time diamond.

This is going to be more of a collaboration between broadcaster and governing body.

Obviously paid a lot of money for this.

Do you see this as a kind of almost like a loss leader that you're to convert more people to cricket for that therefore there will be more willing to take out a Sky subscription long-term.

So they can see it.

Play simply having an appetite for year 2 and that all we really want people to really enjoyed the competition this year and 2D excited, but it happened again next year so there's definitely different metrics and how we would normally judge judge judge judge the day or I will run a sports know about necessarily doing figure is an upgrade.

It's really about appetite and reach and one of the decisions.

We made by dinar reach by broadening broadening our distribution of the of the tournament to do just having said that the figures have been incredible.

How do you say it's actually making money for you a question and different things that go into that you know the category of cricket justpark fantastical for exports.

I can't I can't get involved too much and in in discussing the way that you are covering it is.

Family friendly competition I've been there myself.

I seen that first-hand you've also got Stuart Broad and we the current England player very popular well-known with the popstar fiancé and you're presenting team different is the way that you're covering this to the way you go out covering a test match.

We went back to 2019 we did the process called skylabs where we had our 4-week immersion away from the day-to-day grind up of what we normally do War strategy awards for the tournament and we came up with five five pillars one was called cricket for everybody which is really about how we distribute with tournament and the constant links to participation to reimport more girls and boys pick up a bat and a ball as part of this the second pillar was about supercharged entertainment of guests can really want your questions related to an hour's about having a different on screen team.

Linking between a broadcast and a bad presenting cricket and a slightly more entertaining way the third pillar was called who's winning and that was really about the simplification of graphics and language so that more people could transport horsepower is about getting getting closer to the players and player storytelling and avatars and technology with a really fantastic and you today with the email leg spinner from Scotland to PL4 Birmingham Phoenix and then finally the good and that was really about our diversity and inclusion Translink sustainability opportunities for young people so it's been a really well for oak land tournament and the type that the coverage was definitely going to be a notch more entertaining but probably know more than that you've talked about how you obviously want to reach out to a wider audience people who may not have watched cricket before do you know yet? How successful it has been in.

New audience, have you got figures that they can let us know that figures and demographics? I don't have them exactly to hand is definitely hitting a younger audience is definitely getting a more definitely a bigger audience and younger grateful for the role of the BBC is help us in doing that Sanjay Patel it's is this the first time then the TV come for Sky in this case is actually been involved in creating a new sporting format.

I think you're that that's really important because we're in charge of the game what we did very early on there was was bring author broadcast partners sky and BBC and explain what we're trying to do and also get a view from them because I think that you didn't have those supporting you from the start.

I think that's going to be.

Possible journey, so they were bottom right from the very start and then what we did as we went around building this as I can we collaboration so everything and I guess that's what you're saying now.

You're seeing it was brilliant promotion from Sky BBC in the lead up to the tournament and then products for people to enjoy the graphics on screen with the only been designed to look a little bit like a video game video game simplify the game graphics because it's a simple concept.

It's a long way together.

We want to make this as accessible as possible to as many people as possible and demystifying some of the cricket graphics.

Something that we looked at and hence.

Why you saying that on screen now.

Do you think Sunday that the kids these days? Just have a much shorter attention spans you're competing with tiktok and snap for the attention.

Is it a completely impossible challenge to get them to watch a test match these days that you you are relevant and the second thing you got to make sure if you're offering spaces that those young audiences are in particular in the digital space play when you do that and you get involved in your sport all time.

They will grow to love cricket and I'm sure that time as they grow to love and appreciate it more.

There is the longer for the game which will of course back in 20 and 2005 England won the Ashes in and nail-biting series.

In cricket was really at an all-time high at that time that the ECB kind of cashed in on that didn't know because through a big money deal with Sky Cricket was taken on terrestrial television and put behind a paywall in hindsight hypergamous.

Take without Sanjay mean someone say that the creation of the 100 is a bit of an admission of the fact that you need to get back watching cricket in numbers.

We haven't seen since 2005, but it's on very long time ago.

I wasn't around different set of circumstances.

That was taken what I do know is that the game and it needed revenue to invest in the things that we need to go as for and that things like Stadium infrastructure participation England teams etc.

Also, it needs audiences.

Doesn't it because without that was the future that we've got no I think we've got that balance right because we've got we've got good revenue in order to invest in the game and as we're seeing through the 100.

We've got brilliant reach as well BBC Sanjay V Asher's this Christmas 2021 in Australia it looks like it could possibly be at risk because of the pandemic there is talk of postponing at there's also took that something which players might not go, what can you tell us about that any discussions taking place between the two boards my job and concentrate on delivering 100 and making sure 100 is bigger success as it possibly can be so

Conversation if the place very good luck with the 100 Andrew Georgiou I know that you are a big cricket fan yourself.

What do you make? What's 101 it represents? I think it is is paramount and doing in a way that is exciting engaging is critical.

So you know if a format does allow you to engage in new audiences, and I think you've got to explore the compromise the integrity of the sport and I don't think the 100 compromising the integrity of blood test cricket has its place.

It does have a very clear following and I think the 100 has a different place in in the sports in in cricket.

So I think it does play a role and I think it feels and engagement opportunity for a younger audience for sure so Discovery be.

Only point in bidding for the 101 building for the Ashes I wasn't that you that you did before the Ashes in 2021.

We look at everything to me.

Look at where we can create content on our platforms again that engages audiences and grow up at once and it does have a particular passion in the UK can I take it can drive all the Ants and we look at everything that come across this.

Did you bid for the 2021 Ashes talk about the specific kids in any text because that's just not like that.

We do but it's safe to say they're all premium content comes across as we take a very good.

Look at ok understood.

Just tell me what do you make of the of the hundred of the idea of a terrestrial broadcast on the BBC in this case and Sky with getting together.

It's a kind of a hybrid model.

This route tested in cricket with the men's World Cup of you years ago.

When sky and shared The Final Rites which Channel 4 and actually ended up getting an average audience of like 8.9 people which was the highest it's been a very long time for a cricket match so this idea of going and meeting the masses through free to air whether it's the BBC Weather it's platforms that you order to access the younger audiences, but then still getting that pay TV revenue from the likes of Sky it's it shows a right holder.

He's thinking about not only safeguarding the future of the sport that was so ensuring they get enough revenue to feed back into the grassroots of it as well.

Andrew mentioned covered earlier.

It's clearly created a lot of uncertain sea in sport.

We know we won't even sure the Olympics going ahead and with very grateful that they are we know it's in concern of the rugby League World Cup at the Australian Grand Prix

We are sports broadcasters at the moment it must be a very difficult time which I really being cancelled or postponed.

I think we're all learning how the deal with running live spoiling events in a cupboard safe environment and the Olympics is a really good example of that.

Yes, it makes you know tricky.

Are you do you have to put certain protocols in place to ensure safety and every market that we operate in around the world is that a different stage and dealing with the pandemic.

So you have to show some flexibility in how you approach the shore, but you know when Adam peaty win his gold medal.

He doesn't really care about the code restrictions in the rules and the lack of proud and he shows his emotions that you know everyone is Golden there's been another five gold medals for team GB and long may it continue and I don't think you are the other day.

Just want to get.

What day is trained in challenging circumstances to achieve and in terms of your practicalities of covering kovid have you got many staff working outside working on this women presenters at that you would have had in Tokyo hosting it from elsewhere.

Yeah, we have scaled down there operation that's for sure and I think that's both out of respect for the local Japanese community that as well as managing some of the uncertainty about what we could do on site because things like accessing athletes.

He's a bit trickier if this Olympics you know getting access and moving around venues is a bit and this practical examples like the mix own with the athletes after they've won their metal or lost lost a hater whatever it might be have to walk through The Mix own.

We're all the all the world can have a chance to interview social distancing now means a pet techniques own is really long and you know the practicalities of being able to manage that in the cold environment menu.

There's lots of practical challenges around what you need to do and we've had to be leaving some people at home unfortunately has been part of that has the pandemic reduce the value of live sport for broadcasters seen on sports rights across the last year.

We seen it in football in particular.

We've had Premier League who rolled on their contracts rather than risk going to a tender and see a decrease in the domestic rights value.

We've seen issues in France which was actually do 2 laps of one of the broadcast partners the meteorite SA4 learns quite substantially there where we have seen a bit of an update though is in the US you know the La Liga had a huge deal with really going for sports rights over their through the ESPN platforms, so that seems to be a bit of a counterbalance but I think the next 12-18 months going to be crucial in terms of where the future.

Andrew oversee sports Ride Across Discovery I wonder if you're interested in bidding for any Premium sports right now that you weren't thinking about before because you might be able to get them.

We're always looking over city for always looking at all the opportunities.

What is interesting for us as we think about you know the consumers to take up a product Discovery plus vs.

Consumers who pay for subscription television at are looking for slightly looking for slightly different things now in terms of the way.

We think about passports Wright Cycles it's the way that we deal with you know Eurosport on Sky or on the other platform partners that we have you know is different because we have you know by proposition proposition Discovery pass allows us to engage more feeds on more platforms at any time and allows the consumer to personalise that content in.

Where is that? We just can't do on some of those other platform so you know the way we?

Passport now on Discovery pass to the rights and how rights holders are allowing us to personalize and customise credit additional feed and bring you no more content to consumers that allow them to engage with this is now in a digital Pi discovered.

It's changing disruptors in the sports arena, recently and in the last couple of years perhaps one of the biggest has been Amazon how do you assess what Amazon is up to so far and indeed thought it might be plotting.

I mean you got to say that Amazon really big success story strategic and have they gone and bought their right so for example in the UK you're buying them in December which coincides with the Christmas sales and we've seen that it's not just getting subscribers onto Amazon Prime but can do that revenue into that online platform as well at the moment and consolidate for a bit and then in a couple years time decide where they want to go.

Sports analyst at a analysis thank you very much indeed.

That is all we got time for today with a big.

Thank you to all my guests Andrew Georgiou in particular for staying up so very late in Tokyo president at Sports at Discovery and we also heard from Sanjay Patel director of the 104 ECB and from Brian Henderson actor Sky Sports the media show will be back same time next week.


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