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A summary of the most exciting news in soccer marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

  • Major League SoccerThe MLS has announced the introduction of shirt sleeve partners next season. According to The Athletic, the potential new deals could be worth anywhere between US$500,000 and US$1 million per year. The MLS league-wide kit supply deal with Adidas limits franchise shirt sponsorship to one main partner until 2023.

 

  • Spanish league La Liga launched an OTT subscription service in August that lets fans watch second-tier Spanish football matches for 3.45 a month or 17.29 a year on its TV app, LaLigaTV. La Liga is looking to take control of its own brands and broadcasting live games to audiences. Chief communications officer, Joris Evers, is not ruling out that La Liga’s top division matches might get broadcast on the platform someday as well.

 

  • The Canadian Premier League shared its plans for a first draft, as Canadian University soccer players have an opportunity to earn a spot on a CPL, in partnership with U SPORTS. This will allow an athlete with one to four years of eligibility remaining to play with a CPL club, while preserving their eligibility, in the spring and summer before returning to U SPORTS competition. A player draft will take place on Nov. 12 following the 2018 U SPORTS Men’s Soccer Championship at UBC in Vancouver.

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  • Sky Italia has acquired the exclusive coverage rights of the Premier League in Italy, for three more years. Its current deal is set to expire by the end of the current campaign. Sky Italia will broadcast over 235 matches a year from England’s top flight across its range of platforms.

 

  • AS RomaAS Roma has renewed its partnership with fashion brand Hugo Boss for the 2018/19 season. Hugo Boss will supply the club with exclusive term wear as well as formal club occasions. AS Roma won’t be the only well-dressed club, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, and Bayern Munich, as well as Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur, all have deals with the fashion brand.

 

  • ASICS has locked a multi-year sponsorship deal with Spanish football star Andres Iniesta. The deal is part of the brand’s efforts to expand its football business and reach more audiences across Asia. The football player will support the brand through product placement and promotions.

 

  • The German Football Association and Fanatics have partnered to allow fans of the national team to have access to a greater range of products and wider availability. Fanatics will offer a shopping experience across both online and offline channels through the creation of a new global e-commerce platform, DFB Fanshop (fanshop.dfb.de) while also operating DFB retail outlets during home games.

A summary of the most exciting news in soccer marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

  • https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/877433269029089281/FVfZXf-H_400x400.jpgUefa is planning to launch its own over-the-top (OTT) streaming service. The new platform will also focus on giving additional exposure to categories other than men’s soccer, such as the women’s game and futsal. Uefa’s flagship club competitions the Champions League and Europa League will remain in the hands of major broadcasters which account for much of the governing body’s revenue. “It is not ready yet, but we are building our own OTT platform to really go beyond the current content,” stated Uefa’s marketing director Guy-Laurent Epstein.

 

  • In the esports business, UEFA is exploring options to launch an official esports tournament that will take place during EURO 2020. The soccer organization is looking for a firms interested in “creating, developing and operating an official esports tournament,” according to Inside World Football. The relevant advertising, marketing, promotion and operation of the E-Sports Tournament will be subject to UEFA’s approval and guidelines,” said UEFA.

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  • ESPN acquired the Coppa Italia U.S. broadcasting rights. The deal includes the Italian Super Cup, the annual curtain-raising fixture between the reigning Serie A champions and the holders of the Coppa Italia.

 

  • Real Madrid C.F.Real Madrid renewed its regional sponsorship agreement with healthcare provider Sanitas until 2021, for three more seasons. The Bupa subsidiary will continue to provide medical expertise, treatment and specialist healthcare technology.

 

  • The Uefa Europa League has extended its sponsorship deal with delivery company Fedex Express. The company will now become an official sponsor of the competition until the end of the 2020/21 season.

 

  • Major League Soccer locked in long-term broadcast partnerships with four networks in the US and Canada. Univision, ESPN, TSN, and TVA Sports will carry the first annual Campeones Cup, the new competition between the league champions of MLS and Liga MX.

What: The Brazilian Football Federation (CBF) has partnered with Twitter to distribute exclusive content produced by the CBF.
Why it matters: As the universe of “broadcasters” expands, the potential audience for team- or league-based content increases, making it more attractive to potential marketing partners.

The definition of the term “broadcast outlet” has changed significantly and is more nebulous than ever. With Facebook and Twitter broadcasting Major League Baseball games, Amazon Prime taking over the rights for AVP beach volleyball (@avpbeachmatches and many leagues creating their own online networks, the delivery methods for content are more varied than ever.

Team Brazil is the latest huge entity to work with a “new” broadcaster to deliver content, as the soccer power’s national governing body, the Brazilian Football Confederation (@CBF_Futebol), has partnered with Twitter to distribute video of basically everything but the FIFA World Cup 2018 matches: news, training, interviews and more.

Football is a topic of great interest to Twitter users, who already access the platform, naturally, to see and comment on what is happening around the subject.

“The continuous work of approaching the Brazilian national team allows the fans to follow the daily routine of the delegation during the World Cup,” said Rogério Caboclo, executive director of management at the CBF, in a statement. “The partnership with Twitter ensures that this premium content reaches the public in an agile and modern way.”

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The content is available through the official CBF Twitter page, with mascot Canarinho as a key figure, with his own emoji and hashtag ( ). Fans can watch the video features throughout the World Cup.

“Football is a topic of great interest to Twitter users, who already access the platform, naturally, to see and comment on what is happening around the subject,” added Pitter Rodriguez, director of sports content partnerships for Twitter Latin America.

Working with established Internet giants like Twitter, Facebook and Amazon and their inherent marketing muscle is an excellent way for brands, in this case a national governing body, to distribute content that might otherwise only go to its own fandom to a wider audience. The potential for branding is strong, as the “free” video will have a significantly larger potential audience.

Cover Image: CBF/Twitter

What: Both broadcast networks and non-linear outlets face challenges with brand awareness among young adult audiences, according to ANATOMY’s 2017 “The Young and The Brandless” report.
Why it matters:  Young millennials who watch primarily on TV sets are, on average, better than desktop and mobile viewers at connecting broadcast program brands to network brands.

ANATOMY has released the results of its 2017 The Young and The Brandless” report, which provides an in-depth look at the media consumption, content discovery habits and network brand recognition capabilities of young (18-26) adults.

Building awareness of the network brand behind programming is extremely important to both broadcast and OTT networks because strong brands are leveraged as a curatorial tool by viewers, which in turn, helps build awareness of new programs and facilitates critical program discovery. However, networks are finding this to be an increasing challenge.

The report indicates that young millennials who watch primarily on TV sets are, on average, better than desktop and mobile viewers at connecting broadcast program brands to network brands. The cause for concern for broadcast networks is, however, that 50% of young millennials watch exclusively on desktop or mobile devices.

Furthermore, linear viewership is declining year over year, while desktop and mobile viewing is growing year over year. In order to future proof a network brand, it is critical for networks to improve their promotion in non-linear digital spaces.

At the same time, while the survey shows that young millennials who watch primarily on desktop and mobile platforms are, on average, better than TV viewers at connecting OTT program brands to their related network brands – with the notable exception of Netflix – the overall brand awareness of these OTT networks lags behind that of the broadcast networks. Without the benefit of broadcast TV, OTT services have less room for error in their non-linear digital promotion efforts. Without a secure level of brand relevance among young viewers, outlets such as Amazon and Hulu are going to find it challenging to achieve their ambitions.

linear viewership is declining year over year, while desktop and mobile viewing is growing year over year

Key millennial viewership trends

  • The most common way for young millennials to consume television content (71%) is OTT platforms with one in two watching entertainment exclusively on desktop or mobile devices.

 

  • 58% of young millennials learn of new programming directly through friends and family or on social media. Young millennials are less likely to recall advertising as a consequential factor in discovering new TV programs.

 

  • In an aided brand recognition survey, Netflix yielded the highest brand awareness scores in comparison to other OTT platforms and broadcast networks. 65% of young millennials matched Netflix programs to the Netflix brand, while in contrast only 31% of young millennials matched ABC, CBS, and NBC programs to their respective brands. Amazon programs were only linked with Amazon 20% of the time and Hulu came in at just 15%.

 

  • Brand awareness scores are positively correlated with screen touchpoint rankings. ANATOMY analyzed broadcast and OTT network brands across six dimensions (on-air promotion, web, mobile, SEO, Facebook, and digital ads) in order to rank each brand’s performance. Netflix yielded the highest screen touchpoint ranking and brand awareness score.

 

  • Facebook engagement is strongly correlated with higher brand awareness scores. A data mining analysis assessed Facebook activity among broadcast networks and OTT platforms. Higher Facebook engagement on branded posts strongly correlated with higher brand awareness scores.

 

  • The 12 – 3pm ET timeframe generates 236% more engagements on Facebook than other publishing windows. Meaning, on average, posts published during this window generated twice as much engagement than posts published at other times of day.

 

  • A SEO analysis found that piracy results are as common as network results when trying to find TV online through a search query. In ANATOMY’s assessment, 43% of links on first search engine results pages (SERP) were network-based links, while 42% of links were piracy-based links. Search engines are a key pathway to pirate TV content, especially for young millennials. To beat piracy, TV networks must master the first SERP for popular show-related search queries.

“Our study looked at young millennial consumption, discovery and brand recall habits and the impact those behaviors have on a network’s brand whether it be traditional TV or OTT. What is interesting is that while networks consistently indicate that the viewer is at the center of their thinking, they don’t seem to actually analyze how users truly behave,” said Gabriella Mirabelli, CEO, ANATOMY. “We have learned that on-air promotion is still the most effective means of building brand awareness between a broadcast network’s programming and their brand. As for OTT – outside of Netflix – there is also work to be done as their promotional efforts need to be more precise in order to be effective.”

Featured image credit: Optician Training

What: With the exception of Mexico, exclusive broadcast rights in all Latin American countries belong to FOX Networks Group Latin America.
Why it matters: Because until 2019, TV rights in Mexico will continue to be held by Televisa’s Fighting Sports Network, previously known as the UFC Network.
FOX Networks Group Latin America and UFC have announced a long-term agreement for UFC’s exclusive broadcast rights in Latin America.

The Group will offer over 160 hours of live content each year, including all UFC numbered events, UFC Fight Nights, and The Ultimate Fighter reality show.

Beginning May 13, MMA fans can enjoy all UFC live matches via FOX Sports and FOX Premium App & TV, in more than 44 million homes in Latin America.

In Mexico, TV rights will be available starting January 1, 2019.

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In the meantime, UFC will be seen in Mexico on Televisa Networks’ Fighting Sports Network, previously known until early April as the UFC Network.

“We are very pleased to announce this new exclusive alliance. Having the UFC once again ̶ the world’s number one brand of mixed martial arts ̶ will allow us to offer the best combat content through our digital signals and platforms,” ​​said Francisco Pazmiño, SVP of Procurement and Programming Strategy, FOX Sports Latin America.

“We will seek to create synergies with the U.S. FOX Sports team, which also owns UFC rights, in order to give our fans the fullest coverage. With this new agreement, we are positioning FOX Sports, through our FOX Fight Club franchise, as the number one destination in combat sports in the region,” he added.

We will seek to create synergies with the U.S. FOX Sports team, which also owns UFC rights, in order to give our fans the fullest coverage.

 

Image: UFC

What: The agreement secures the exclusive broadcasting rights of Concacaf’s club matches.
Why it Matters: Because it is a five-year deal to broadcast club competition matches, including the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League for Latin America. The Concacaf club competitions platform will include 31 Confederation clubs, beginning with the 2017-2018 season. Sixteen clubs from countries across the region, including Canada, Mexico, the United States, Central America and the Caribbean will compete in the Concacaf Champions League, which will run from February to May each year starting in 2018.

Fox Sports Latin America and the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Football (CONCACAF) renewed broadcast rights for five more years for Concacaf’s new club competitions platform, including the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League for Latin America.

“The extension of our relationship with FOX Sports Latin America is clear evidence that the most important official club championship in the region continues to grow in popularity and prestige,” said CONCACAF President Victor Montagliani.

“This renewal allows us to continue offering our fans throughout Latin America the best official Concacaf club championship for five more years,” said Carlos Martinez, President of Fox Networks Group Latin America. “It reinforces our commitment to keep working every day in order to continue being the number one sports channel in Latin America, bringing the best international events and competitions.”

This renewal allows us to continue offering our fans throughout Latin America the best official Concacaf club championship for five more years.

Fox Sports Latin America has the exclusive broadcast rights across all platforms for Mexico and South America, as well as the exclusive Pay TV and digital platform rights for Central America for two CONCACAF club tournaments.

“We thank FOX Sports Latin America for believing in our confederation and the bidding process, and for their great commitment to continue to drive the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League,” added Montagliani.

Thirty-one confederation clubs will participate in the Concacaf club competitions platform, starting with the 2017-2018 season. Sixteen clubs from countries across the region, including Canada, Mexico, the United States, Central America and the Caribbean, will compete in the CONCACAF Champions League, which will run from February to May each year, starting in 2018.

In August 2017, sixteen Central American and Caribbean clubs will participate in a new tournament, ending in October.

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“This agreement encourages us to continue innovating, in order to offer this content across all of our platforms and provide the best experience to our fans,” said Carlos Martínez. “We thank the Concacaf leadership for believing in our project to continue broadcasting one of the most relevant championships for North America, Central America and the Caribbean.”

This agreement encourages us to continue innovating, in order to offer this content across all of our platforms and provide the best experience to our fans.

As for the new CONCACAF Champions League, it will consist of four qualified teams from Mexico (the champion and runner-up of the Liga MX Clausura and Apertura Tournaments), the four best qualified clubs from the MLS, and the champions of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, the Canadian Cup, and the Caribbean Club Championship, as well as the winner of the new tournament played the year before each Champions League edition. All will compete to represent CONCACAF at the FIFA Club World Cup.

The agreement also secures exclusive coverage and special programming for FOX Sports, with all pre-match and post-match analysis done by the broadcasting team composed of Raúl Orvañanos, Santiago Puente, Gustavo Mendoza, Rafael Márquez Lugo, Alberto García Aspe, Alex Aguinaga, and Fabián Estay.

 

Image: Fox Sports Latin America.

In this regular feature, we look at the most watched soccer matches in the U.S. over the past weekend, the networks that came out on top and other relevant insights.

Which match had the largest audience?

The encounter between Premier League Manchester United vs Chelsea, on Sunday, was the most watched soccer game during the weekend. It attracted an audience of 816,000 viewers.

Which broadcaster came out on top?

English Premier League rights holder NBC Sports Network was the most tuned in match during the weekend with close to 1.8 million total viewers.

What else is relevant?

The match played between LigaMX Puebla vs Cruz Azul, was more watched than Premier League Tottenham vs Bournemouth. The game came on number five, with 327,000 viewers.

Nominate your candidates! Call for Entries: 2018 Golazo International Soccer Award!

ProgramEpisodeNetworkStartEndTotal Viewers (000)Viewers Age 18-49 (000)Day of the game
1PREMIER LEAGUE LCHELSEA/MANCHESTER UNITEDNBC SPORTS NETWORK10:57 AM1:09 PM816416Sun
2PREMIER LEAGUE LLIVERPOOL/WEST BROMNBC SPORTS NETWORK8:22 AM10:33 AM415210Sun
3LALIGA SANTANDER MRQ-LBARCELONA VS. REAL SOCIEDADBEIN SPORT ESPANOL2:34 PM4:47 PM403229Sat
4PREMIER LEAGUE LLEICESTER/CRYSTAL PALACENBC SPORTS NETWORK9:57 AM12:00 PM361169Sat
5LIGA MX LPUEBLA / CRUZ AZULUNIVISION DEPORTES6:37 PM9:04 PM327176Sun
6PREMIER LEAGUE LBOURNEMOUTH/TOTTENHAMNBC SPORTS NETWORK7:23 AM9:27 AM260121Sat
7LALIGA SANTANDER MRQ-LSPORTING VS. REAL MADRIDBEIN SPORT ESPANOL10:05 AM12:15 PM256149Sat
8LIGA MX LJAGUARES / TIJUANAUNIVISION DEPORTES5:50 PM7:57 PM18896Sat
9LALIGA SANTANDER-LATLETICO MADRID VS. OSASUNABEIN SPORT ESPANOL12:19 PM2:29 PM14661Sat
10LALIGA SANTANDER MRQ-LBARCELONA VS. REAL SOCIEDADBEIN SPORT2:35 PM4:45 PM13981Sat

Source: SportsTVRatings.com (“All data ©Nielsen, provided by a variety of TV network sources and not directly from Nielsen”)

What: Follow the weekend’s ratings through the live sports top 25 ranking! A quick look at what people watched over the last weekend. (A new regular weekly feature!)

Which sport won?

There is no doubt that basketball is among the most beloved sports in the U.S. Proof of this is the number live sports event of last weekend: the college game between Florida State and Notre Dame. Broadcasted by ESPN, 1.3 million viewers turned on their TV on Saturday to watch the game (check out table below).

What broadcaster won?

ESPN (including ESPNU and ESPN2) was the most watched broadcaster. During the weekend the network broadcast all college regular season games, which explains why it became the most tuned in network group.

Out of 13.7 million who watched the Top 25 live sports events last weekend, 10.5 million watched ESPN.

The NBC Sports Network was in second place, through the broadcast of the Premier League matches, (check out our Top 10 most viewed soccer matches feature). Over the weekend,  it had two million viewers, significantly less than ESPN.

What else is relevant?

Surprisingly, the only NHL game broadcast over the weekend, on Sunday, managed to make it into the list of top 10 most watched live sport events. Once again, we can’t forget hockey’s popularity in the U.S.

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#ProgramEpisodeNetworkStartEndTotal Viewers (000)Viewers Age 18-49 (000)Day of the game
1COLLEGE BKBL REG SSN LFLORIDA STATE/NOTRE DAMEESPN6:07 p.m.8:04 p.m.1,341572Sat
2COLLEGE BKBL REG SSN LGONZAGA/ST MARYS (CA)ESPN8:16 p.m.10:22 p.m.1,305397Sat
3COLLEGE BKBL REG SSN LOHIO STATE/MARYLANDESPN4:05 p.m.6:07 p.m.1,106477Sat
4COLLEGE BKBL REG SSN LKANSAS ST/WEST VIRGINIAESPN12:00 p.m.2:19 p.m.939421Sat
5COLLEGE BKBL REG SSN LKANSAS STATE/TEXASESPN2:19 p.m.4:05 p.m.926383Sat
6UFC PPV PRELIMS L208:HOLM/DE RANDAMIEFOX SPORTS 18:00 p.m.10:00 p.m.874420Sat
7COLLEGE BKBL REG SSN LVIRGINIA/VIRGINIA TECHESPNU6:30 p.m.9:08 p.m.536161Sun
8COLLEGE BKBL REG SSN LLOUISVILLE/MIAMIESPN22:09 p.m.4:09 p.m.503187Sat
9COLLEGE BKBL REG SSN LCINCINNATI/SMUESPN4:00 p.m.5:58 p.m.499211Sun
10NHL REGULAR SEASON LMONTREAL/BOSTONNBC SPORTS NETWORK7:32 p.m.10:21 p.m.495198Sun
11PREMIER LEAGUE LWATFORD/MANCHESTER UNITEDNBC SPORTS NETWORK9:57 a.m.11:57 a.m.481292Sat
12COLLEGE BKBL REG SSN LTEXAS/OKLAHOMA STESPN24:09 p.m.6:04 p.m.432124Sat
13PREMIER LEAGUE LLEICESTER CITY/SWANSEANBC SPORTS NETWORK10:56 a.m.1:05 p.m.409200Sun
14PREMIER LEAGUE LCHELSEA/BURNLEYNBC SPORTS NETWORK8:23 a.m.10:27 a.m.391196Sun
15COLLEGE BKBL REG SSN LCALIFORNIA/ARIZONAESPN210:11 p.m.12:18 a.m.387141Sat
16LIGA MXSANTOS / CRUZ AZULUNIVISION DEPORTES6:32 p.m.9:00 p.m.373228Sun
17LALIGA SANTANDER MRQ-LOSASUNA VS. REAL MADRIDBEIN SPORT ESPANOL2:35 p.m.4:47 p.m.341201Sat
18COLLEGE BKBL REG SSN LOKLAHOMA / IOWA STESPN26:04 p.m.8:04 p.m.31991Sat
19NBA REGULAR SEASON LDETROIT/TORONTONBA-TV6:00 p.m.8:28 p.m.313142Sun
20LIGA MX LQUERETARO / LEONUNIVISION DEPORTES5:51 p.m.7:56 p.m.308201Sat
21MONSTER ENERGY SUPERCR DARLINGTONFOX SPORTS 110:00 p.m.1:00 a.m.306151Sat
22COLLEGE BKBL REG SSN LGAINESVILLE/TEXAS A&MESPN212:00 p.m.2:09 p.m.300112Sat
23COLLEGE BKBL REG SSN LWASHINGTON ST/COLORADOESPNU9:08 p.m.10:30 p.m.299125Sun
24COLLEGE BKBL REG SSN LSOUTH CAROLINA/MISSISSIPPI STATEESPN28:04 p.m.10:11 p.m.28282Sat
25PREMIER LEAGUE LHULL CITY/ARSENALNBC SPORTS NETWORK7:24 a.m.9:27 a.m.279132Sat

Source: SportsTVRatings.com (“All data ©Nielsen, provided by a variety of TV network sources and not directly from Nielsen”)