A Whole New Ball Game? The Changing European Sports Rights Marketplace

Date

2018-08

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Book chapter

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

Using examples from France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, this chapter analyses how the growing use of online delivery for sports content is changing the European sports rights market. The chapter highlights how the Internet is being utilised to offer live sports content directly to consumers, over-the-top (OTT), by new market entrants, from the United States and Europe, as well as existing pay-TV operators and sports organisations. Nevertheless, the main argument made here is that the contemporary European sports rights market is best understood as undergoing a period of evolution, rather than revolution. Europe’s sports rights market remains defined by traditional national/regional exclusive live rights deals. Furthermore, live rights to exclusive premium content, mostly domestic football leagues, remain the key source of market power within national pay-TV and wider communications markets. And, for the immediate future at least, the technical limitations associated with OTT mean that control over, or access to, traditional broadcasting infrastructure – terrestrial, satellite and/or cable – remains a major competitive advantage for established pay-TV operators within Europe’s national sports rights markets.

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Citation

Smith, P. (in production 2019) A Whole New Ball Game? The Changing European Sports Rights Marketplace. In: Armfield, G., McGuire, J. and Earnheardt, A. (eds.) The ESPN After effect and the Changing Sport Media Marketplace. New York: Peter Lang

Rights

Research Institute

Media and Communication Research Centre (MCRC)
Cinema and Television History Institute (CATHI)