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By Gabriela Gutiérrez M.

What: While the United States, Europe and Asia have positioned themselves as highly profitable markets for eSports, brands in Mexico and Latin America still do not think of it as sports.
Why it matters: From its roots in geek culture to its growing popularity, gamers and eSports fans have created a community that embraces authenticity and quickly rejects relationships with brands that do not offer a clear value, warns MEC’s “Spotlight on eSports” report.

There are 2.2 billion gamers worldwide, of which about half – 47% – spend $108.9 billion while gaming, offering a great opportunity for brand exposure.

Peter Warman
Peter Warman, CEO, Newzoo. (Photo: Twitter)

“Brands have been trying to get into video games for decades. eSports now provides the ideal entry into the favorite hobby of digital natives and Millennials. Long-term investments are being made by companies within the sports landscape,” said Peter Warman, CEO of Newzoo, a consulting firm specialized in the video game market, in a statement.

Although the market in Latin America is still emerging compared to Asia or the United States, it is getting stronger year after year. “Mexico has a bad history of people who have not given brands what they are looking for. There are teams that promise a lot and have no reach,” said Alejandro Leyva, an eSports influencer known by the alias Alk4pon3.

However, that is not the case with Lyon Gaming, the League of Legends’ northern Latin American champion, and one of the games with the largest worldwide eSports audience. Its team jerseys are emblazoned with various sponsor logos such as Kultec, Supermex, Intel, Asus, and Arena (Cinemex). At the same time, the game promotes HyperX products on its Facebook page, which has more than 110,000 followers.

Bringing sports brands to eSports is very difficult in Mexico, because it is not considered a sport here, nor seen as profitable.

“We are still a very small sector. Bringing sports brands to eSports is very difficult in Mexico, because it is not considered a sport here, nor seen as profitable,” said Jorge Valencia, in charge of securing sponsorships for Lyon Gaming. “Under Armour told me that what we do has nothing to do with what they do; and that it wasn’t even related to exercise. The detail they forget is that people who play video games also exercise.”

Lyon GamingFor Valencia, Lyon Gaming’s biggest plus for attracting brands is its status as regional multi-champion and its social network reach, which garners up to 300,000 people for each post on Facebook. “Our reach is not limited to Latin America. When we participate in tournaments, the brands are broadcast on five continents.”

In 2016, global profits for eSports grew to $696 million, a 41.3% increase over 2015. The largest portion of those profits – $517 million – comes from brands: $151 million from advertising, $266 million from sponsorships, and $95 million from media rights.

Consumer spending this year on merchandise and tickets will amount to $64 million. The remaining $116 million will come from the total investment made by game publishers in eSports.

The eSports economy is still far from mature and is still an investment area for many companies, particularly for game publishers. Although revenues are rapidly increasing each year for eSports teams, this money is often reinvested, leaving little or no profit.

We are as confident as we were in 2013, when we began researching, reporting and shaping the eSports space, that eSports will become a multimillion-dollar business.

“We are as confident as we were in 2013, when we began researching, reporting and shaping the eSports space, that eSports will become a multimillion-dollar business in the future—entertaining hundreds of millions of fans every week,” Warman added.

By Gabriela Gutiérrez M.

What: Gameloft, a leading global publisher of mobile video games, seeks to move up in the market with its offer to integrate ads into its video games.
Why it matters: The company, established in 2000, posted 257 million euros in revenues globally in 2016, according to statistics portal Statista.

Jean Saltarin
Jean Saltarin, Country Manager – Mexico CENAM & Caribbean at Gameloft. (Photo: LinkedIn)

“We propose that the presence of the brand, and the campaign, make sense for the user so that he/she perceives them in a natural way,” said Jean Saltarin, Country Manager – Mexico CENAM & Caribbean at Gameloft.

For example, in a racecar game such as Asphalt, advertisers appear natively in billboard ads. Or in a Real Football soccer match, advertising is displayed around the perimeter of the pitch, just like in the real world. In this way, the video game player will not perceive the intrusion of an advertiser, explained Saltarin.

Gameloft users are not part of the “hardcore” video games sector, he said. “Nearly half of our users are women, and 15% of our audience is over age 35.” This mix has made it possible for Gameloft to attract advertisers in the entertainment industry (such as film studios), as well as car manufacturers, beverage, mobile phones, and technology companies in general.

Nearly half of our users are women, and 15% of our audience is over age 35.

Six out of every 10 dollars spent on digital advertising are targeted at the mobile industry, according to eMarketer. Gameloft, whose specialty is mobile games, is betting on making a “premium” offer to brands, said the executive. “Our vision is one of quality; we do not compete for millions of impressions. We guarantee engagement and viewability. We seek to enrich the offer with data, targeting strategies, development of mini-games, and native integration that will be similar to programmatic, but with a stronger value. We are focused on branding awareness and engagement,” he affirmed.

Six out of every 10 dollars spent on digital advertising are targeted at the mobile industry

In order to guarantee a premium level, Gameloft has refused to use third parties to market its ad space and all advertising is produced in-house: “Instead of charging a fee for advertising, we wanted to make sure of when, where and what [ads] would appear before our users, because a frustrated user never comes back to the developer,” said Saltarin.

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To ensure user satisfaction, Gameloft relies on statistics and algorithms that keep it from offering challenging experiences and lets the user set the level of difficulty, as well as predict user exit and create personalized offers.

The new Gameloft

“What has allowed us to go on is the ability to adapt. The company was launched in 1999, when the Nokia snake game started and the [industry] began to think it would become a massive platform,” recalled Saltarin. “We continue the strategy of trying to capture innovation, but with the flexibility to act very fast.”

What has allowed us to go on is the ability to adapt.

GameloftLast year, Vivendi, Europe’s largest entertainment and media holding company, absorbed Gameloft, which has given the company a new boost and led to its planned entry in eSports ̶ which would make it the first competition of its kind in mobile phones ̶ by 2018 at the latest.

The new Gameloft also raised the offerings for its female audience, with casual games like My Favorite Villain, with almost 100 million downloads; of which 60-70% of users are women.

Over the next few years, Gameloft will focus on the following areas: create fewer games (8-12, instead of developing 15-20); do 15 specialization studies instead of 25; and develop new monetization techniques, according to corporate information.

Feature image: @Gameloft_Latam
By Gabriela Gutiérrez M.

YouTube has more viewers, but Twitch generates better profits.

The world’s 665 million viewers of gaming video content (GVC) exceed the total population of the United States and Mexico together. This explains how this industry is able to generate profits of US $4.6 billion, according to digital gaming market researcher SuperData Research.

YouTube Gaming and Twitch (bought by Amazon in 2014 for US $970 million) are the two platforms that dominate the eSports broadcasting market. However, although YouTube has more viewers, Twitch is making bigger profits. According to SuperData, the eSports platform captures only 16 percent of the audience but earns 37 percent of its revenue from gaming video content. This is mainly due to the direct income it receives through subscriptions.

Within the industry, brands and advertisers add US $3.129 billion to the gaming video content market, while subscriptions and donations generate US $1.418 billion. Alejandro Leyva, alias Alk4pon3, one of Mexico’s most important eSports influencers, says that it is easier for him to position the brands through Twitch since the network reaches a market whose average age is 21; unlike YouTube, where the market age drops to teenagers, who have lower purchasing power.

Twitch is fairer with content creators.

In addition, “Twitch is fairer with content creators,” says Alk4pon3. “When you’re broadcasting, and an event song starts playing in the background, YouTube takes a portion of your revenue to give to the owners of the song, whereas Twitch blocks the sound.”

“Gaming video content represents a highly desirable marketplace for advertisers, due to the fact that its audience is young, tech savvy and willing to spend money,” states Carter Rogers, Research Manager at SuperData Research.

SuperData’s research concludes that men make up 54% of the gaming video content audience, with women comprising the remaining 46%. In addition, gamers who like to watch gaming related videos spend an average of US $70 on games and content, or 56% more than gamers who do not consume videos.

Companies that do not advertise to GVC viewers risk losing potential customers.

“Companies that do not advertise to GVC viewers risk losing potential customers, as they resort to legacy media streams. With a global audience that reaches more viewers than HBO, Netflix, ESPN and Hulu combined, brands may be missing out on the next prime-time viewing activity, not unlike watching television or sports during peak viewing hours,” adds Rogers.

What: Minute Media announces the launch of its newest brand, esports platform DBLTAP.
Why it matters: Launched in late 2011, Minute Media is the world’s fastest growing digital sports platform, reaching more than 75 million unique users a month.

Minute MediaSports media and technology company Minute Media today announced the launch of DBLTAP, its newest esports platform. Through partnerships with ESL, E-League, DreamHack, and Fnatic, DBLTAP features interactive, short-form esports video and editorial content along with tournament highlights and exclusive content.

The official launch happened a few months ago, with a focus on building English language content around the major tournaments, games, and players. During this time, TDBLTAP managed to curate and distribute more than 60 pieces of content each day and to reach a traffic of 3 million monthly unique users organically.

“As with our other platforms, DBLTAP will bring the world of esports to the fans in a way that only Minute Media can. With a focus on the narrative around the players and teams, and with our partnerships with some of the largest names in the industry, no one else can offer on-the-ground coverage to tournaments around the world and fan-centric authenticity to this extent,” stated Duncan McMonagle, SVP of Strategic Partnerships at Minute Media. “DBLTAP gives esports fans the next best experience to actually attending themselves. Our vision is to bring the fans closer to esports which we believe will help grow the broader industry overall.”

Our vision is to bring the fans closer to esports which we believe will help grow the broader industry overall.

According to Minute Media’s data, 85% of its global audience is gamers, and 52% describe themselves as ‘avid gamers’. It only makes sense for the company to move towards the gaming industry.

Built on Minute Media’s content technology, esports fans can now contribute to their own variety of content ranging from video to interactive polls and quizzes to written content. Fan-contributed content is then edited, curated and distributed by DBLTAP’s editorial team across relevant social channels.

“From player profiles to in-depth video series, DBLTAP gives fans an opportunity to learn about some of the esports untold stories and give them a platform to be close to the excitement,” said Wouter Sleijffers, CEO of Fnatic, in a statement.

According to Rich Routman, President of Minute Media, the new partnerships will create substantial opportunities for both audience and commercial development.

Text written by Lorena Hure @lorenahure

Which gaming sites do US Hispanics prefer? What is most important to them? How are users spread out within this category? Read on for the answers to these questions, drawn from comScore’s March 2017 ranking.

Forty percent of US Hispanic users visit game sites as part of their online entertainment activities.

Source: comScore Media Metrix, US, Hispanic All, Home and Work, PC/Laptop only, March 2017Total Unique Visitors (000)
    Total Internet:  Hispanic All26.592
    Games10.463
1    EA Games – Media Network1.301
2    STEAMCOMMUNITY.COM906
3    IGN Entertainment875
4    Curse856
5    GameSpot813
6    Fandom Games, Powered By Wikia659
7    TWITCH.TV605
8    Reddit Games590
9    Gamer Network481
10    Miniclip447

The themes within this category seem to be diverse, with no one predominant activity. Individually, the number of unique users on each of the ranked sites and platforms did not exceed 5% during the reporting period.

Based on the ranking, we can discern that, for US Hispanics, online games are as important as participating in forums where they can comment and find out about their favorite games. Although e-gaming is not new, it is interesting to observe how users are increasingly interested in this mode of content consumption, as well as the response of these platforms to constantly reinvent themselves with new games and monetizing modalities that come from both users and advertisers.

What: NBC Sports Group announced today that it will host 2 versus 2 Rocket League Tournament, a new esports tournament, this summer.
Why it matters: This esports tournament will utilize FACEIT’s competitive gaming platform, and numerous NBCUniversal and Comcast regional, national and international assets.

NBC SportsNBC Sports announced it will broadcast an esports tournament later this summer. The featured game of the property’s debut season will be Rocket League. Developed and published by San Diego-based game studio, Psyonix, the game already has a community of more than 32 million players.

“Rocket League is an easy-to-understand game, which makes it the perfect introduction to esports for fans of all backgrounds and ages,” said Josh Watson, Head of Esports at Psyonix, in a statement.

Rocket League is an easy-to-understand game, which makes it the perfect introduction to esport.

In total, more than 40 hours of event coverage will be presented across live-streaming, video-on-demand, and linear platforms.

NBC Sports Group is also interested in reaching the US-Hispanic audience. “We are also excited to be adding Telemundo Deportes, given that the growing Spanish-language audience is an engaged, committed group of gamers. Further, there will be an international component with the broadcast of the Grand Finals on Syfy in the UK, Germany, Australia and multiple countries across Latin America,” stated Rob Simmelkjaer, Senior Vice President of NBC Sports Ventures.

The tournament’s structure will utilize NBC Sports Regional Networks, Telemundo Deportes and NBCU International to manage the Regional Qualifiers across the nation and in Europe through game-play, which will be played on the FACEIT platform beginning on July 22.

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“Our Rocket League esports ecosystem is thriving and we are excited to expand to the NBC Sports audience,” added Watson

The Grand Finals will feature 16 total teams competing on August 26-27 for the inaugural title and the $100,000 prize pool, which will be broadcast live in the U.S. on NBCSN.

Feature Image: @RocketLeague

What: Portada talked to Alban Dechelotte, Senior Entertainment Marketing Manager at The Coca-Cola Company, about why brands should start investing in eSports.
Why it matters: Although eSports is still a mystery for many, nearly 200 million people around the world are consuming eSports content. According to Newzoo, in 2017 the eSports industry will grow by 41.3% to global annual revenues of US$ 696 million and to US $1.5 billion by 2020.

eSports is becoming a force to be reckoned with for the marketing and media business. Research firm Newzoo expects brands to spend US $517 million in eSports this year (US $155 million on advertising, US $266 million on sponsorships, and US $95 million on media rights). Consumer spending this year on tickets and merchandise will amount to US $64 million. Another $116 million will be invested by game publishers through partnership deals with white-label organizers. Coca Cola has been one of the first major marketers to support eSports. In 2013, Coca-Cola decided to embrace the eSports trend by signing an official global partnership with Riot Games and the League of Legends Championship Series. Coca-Cola has mantained this annual investment ever since. In fact, last year Coca Cola celebrated its first eCopa Coca Cola. That is why Portada talked to Alban Dechelotte (photo) who leads Coca Cola’s eSports efforts.

Alban Dechelotte

Portada: Who should be considering eSports as their next sports marketing investment?
Alban Dechelotte, Senior Entertainment Marketing Manager at The Coca-Cola Company: “eSports is good for brands that want to be relevant to younger demographics, especially male. eSports can be complementary to a preexisting sports marketing strategy, but brands can have dedicated strategies geared towards eSports as well.”

eSports is good for brands that want to be relevant to younger demographics, especially male.

Portada: Why is it the right platform for Coca-Cola?
A.D.: “For years Coca-Cola has connected to the people it cares about though their passions. Today, the people we most care about, care about gaming and eSports. It’s natural for us to celebrate the fans of eSports no differently than any other passion point.”

Portada: In terms of sponsorship investment, how big are eSports for Coca-Cola?

A.D.: “We don’t share this publicly, but it’s growing with the space.

Portada: What eSports events are most important to Coca-Cola in the US?A.D.: “League of Legends World Finals. Last year we had more fans attending our cinema viewing parties than attending the sold out live event at Staples Center, in Los Angeles.”

Also read: For The First Time ESPN will Broadcast Esports Live

Portada: Which are the main challenges for a brand when planning a marketing strategy around eSports?
A.D.: “The challenge is that eSports is digital, and sports marketing has been built on TV. As a result, there is a new paradigm in the fundamental way brands can reach consumers through their passion. It’s important for brands to recognize this and the audience they’re after. Brands have to approach it with the right tone and honor the fans by being genuine and authentic.”

The challenge is that eSports is digital, and sports marketing has been built on TV.

Portada: What mistakes have you learned from working in the eSports area?
A.D.: “We’ve learned that it’s really important to manage expectations and over communicate. We work hard to earn fans’ trust and if they feel like you’ve under-delivered they’ll let you know. The most important thing is to listen to their feedback and learn from it for the next time.”

Portada: Global brand experience agency Momentum Worldwide revealed that 53% of gamers believe that more people will watch video games than traditional sports by 2022. Do you think this is true?
A.D.: “We need to be careful with such fans declarative survey. I love rugby, and I think it has the potential to be the biggest sport on the planet, but of course, this isn’t necessarily the case. That being said, all the signs for continued positive growth in eSports are there.”

Portada: Given this growth, what marketing move should brands start doing?
A.D.: “They need to look at their sports marketing strategy and reflect what they are doing for eSports, in the way that is best for their brand and their audience.”

Feature image: @CokeEsports

Andres Polo, VP Digital Marketing at Visa for Latin America is the latest addition of a high-level speaker to our June 7-8 PortadaLat agenda. Polo will provide a presentation on how Visa targets the Latin American Millennial consumer through sports content.

On June 7 and 8 the world’s most prominent brands, the most powerful media executives and pioneering innovators will be taking the stage at PortadaLat in Miami. Andres Polo, VP Digital Marketing at Visa  is the latest addition of a major industry player. Visa will provide a presentation on how Visa is extending its traditional sports partnerships, including eSports, in order to appeal to Latin American Millennial.

VisaOther Thought Leaders who have confirmed their participation at PortadaLat include:
Ricardo Perez Baez, Global Marketing Communications Director, Grupo Bimbo
Ricardo Arias-Nath, CMO, Latin America, PepsiCo Beverages
Rafael Lopez de Azua, Head of Media & Digital Latam, Coty Inc.
Natalie Bursztin, Marketing Director, TottoFelipe Molina H., Digital Specialties Director, IPG
Pablo Chiozza, ‎Sr. VP USA, Canada & Caribbean, ‎Latam Airlines Group
Gary Milner, Director, Global Digital Marketing, Lenovo
Debbie Rubinstein, Global Client Lead, Starcom
Wendy E. Kallergis, President & CEO The Greater Miami & The Beaches Hotel Association
Yamileth Bermudez, Media Operations Director, IPG Mediabrands Miami
Fernando Fiore, On Air Personality, Fox Sports
Luis Perillo, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Caribbean & Latin America, Hilton
Ana Tomicevic, Director of Brand Marketing, Marriott
Montserrat Santaella, Senior Marketing Manager, Grupo Posadas
Jon Eichelberger, Head of Americas, Trivago
Diahann Smith, Multicultural Marketing Manager, Florida Dairy Farmers
Mariana Vázquez del Mercado Casas, Digital Marketing Manager, Nestlé
Felix Palau, VP at Tecate, Heineken
Carlos Espindola, E-Hub Manager Latin America, 3M
Patricio Rubalcava, VP Merchant Business Development – T&E, Retail & Digital Industries, MasterCard

and many more!

PortadaLat Registration: We have added new Ticket Types to Meet Your Needs!

GENERAL PASS: Attend the overall PortadaLat event on June 7 and June 8. All sessions, keynotes, networking, food and beverage included! (US$549)
VIP ATTENDEE: Meet up to 5 high-level brand, agency or media executives of your choice attending or speaking PortadaLat. These 10 minute meetings will take place in a separate room during the first and second day of PortadaLat and are designed to help you build valuable relationships. General Pass offering is included. (US $ 1,999).
DAY 1: SPORTS AND TRAVEL MARKETING DAY (June 7):  
The first day of PortadaLat will focus on how technological innovation is impacting key segments of business and marketing with emphasis on Travel and Sports. All sessions, keynotes and marketing-tech showcases are included as well as light food, sandwiches and beverages. (US $199)
DAY 2: BRAND INNOVATION DAY  (June 8)
The second day at PortadaLat will celebrate Brand Innovation and showcase how leading companies are boosting brand equity and increasing their relevance in a disruptive environment in Latin America and the U.S. Breakfast, Lunch and Evening Reception Food and Beverages included. (US$ 549!)
Secure your spot and start the PortadaLat journey!

unnamedMiami is getting its feet wet into this multibillion-dollar industry, with a new eSport team, according to Amarilis Semprún Zozaya, Principal at AZ Communications, Inc.

The combination of technology and sports is explosive. One just has to look at the legions of video game fanatics and the millions of dollars that they generate each year for this industry. Ant it keeps growing… Now more than ever, these so called cyber-athletes from different parts of the world connect online to participate in countless of tournaments and video game competitions.

Known as electronic sports (or eSports), competitive video gaming has been dominating the way 16 to 35 years old interact in the digital atmosphere, with tablets and mobile screens also capturing an important part of the pie. It has gained popularity so fast that many consider it as the new sports genre for the 21st century. eSports is the hottest topic in games and it already is into the mainstream.

From the United States, to Europe and Asia, thousands of events are held continuously in sold-out crowd packed arenas, which include a wide-range of game categories and competitions. From fighting games and Multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) – such as DOTA 2, League of Legends, and Counter Strike – to sports simulators, life FIFA 17, professional players keep emerging from Latin America and other regions, to then be hired in the United States and Europe and endorsed by the big brands.  And, as the cash prizes get juicier more corporations and regular sports teams are following the money trail.

The global esports economy is estimated to grow by 41% to US$696 million in 2017, from US$493 million in 2016

According to an analysis by NewZoo, a provider of market intelligence covering this industry, the global esports economy is estimated to grow by 41% to US$696 million in 2017, from US$493 million in 2016. “And the audience is expected to hit 385 million in 2017, made up of 191 million Esports Enthusiasts and a further 194 million Occasional Viewers”.

Some of the largest cities for gamers are Los Angeles, San Francisco, Long Beach, Sacramento (CA), Chicago (IL), Charlotte (NC), Atlanta (GA), Seattle (WA), Portland (OR), and jus recently Washington, DC. Miami now have the opportunity to claim a piece of that universe in the form of THE MIAMI FLAMINGOS – the only professional eSports team in South Florida.  Five young players that represent the diversity that characterizes this city.  They are experts on Counter Strikes having played professionally in Latin American since their adolescence.  They come from Argentina, Colombia and Chile, and as with all eSports players, they select very unconventional nicknames, which function as their gaming handle. Jonathan ‘JonYBoY’ Muñoz, Guillermo ‘guishorro’ Areco, and Matías ‘Tutehen’ Canale (AR), Juan Esteban ‘sickLy’ Valencia, (CO), and Cristian ‘Proxure’ Rojas (CH).

Gaming is hot; and we are certain that with the introduction of The Miami Flamingos, in no time we’ll see local television stations that want to capture this highly valuable audience, broadcasting this unique experience in a crow-packed arena full of neon flashing lights, with thousands of fans – some dressed up as their favorite character – and other tens of thousands people live streaming from everywhere.  Yes, competitive video gamine is flourishing, and Miami is ready to dip into it.

Amarilis Semprún Zozaya, Principal at AZ Communications, Inc., is a seasoned PR Specialist, Amarilis has been helping deliver successful communications campaigns at the client and agency levels, for the past 20 years in both, the US Hispanic/Anglo markets and Latin America. Considered by some as having “a golden touch for pitching the media”, Amarilis is truly passionate about PR and a “news junkie”, nowadays immersed into the eSports atmosphere. A native of Venezuela, she studied Modern Languages, and Translation and Interpretation Studies.

A recap of news and trends in the Sports Marketing world as compiled by Portada’s Editorial team….

“Hot” Content Distribution and Monetization Play

Switzerland-based marketing firm Infront Sports & Media has acquired 51% in Omnigon, which specializes in developing digital content distribution platforms for teams, leagues and entertainment companies. Infront Sports & Media is owned by Chinese Conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group, which is investing in companies that are at the intersection of sports and entertainment. Omnigon is a consulting firm that helps sports, media and entertainment providers to develop mobile apps and websites. Omnigon’s client list includes World Rugby, PGA Tour, NASCAR, AS Roma, Fox, Fox Sports, Miami Heat and WWE. The New York-based firm will continue to operate as a stand-alone entity, keeping its brand name.

Portada’s 2016 Hispanic Sports Marketing Guide will be published on March 1. To reserve your spot in this marquee lead-gen and branding tool please reach out to Sales and Marketing Director Kelley Eberhardt at kelley@portada-online.com.

ESPN: OTT or no OTT, That is the Question

Hispanic Online VideoA survey conducted by the marketing firm Civic Science and highlighted in a note by BTIG notes that more than half of cable subscribers would be happy to drop ESPN to save US $8 a month. Additionally, only 6% of the survey’s respondents said they would be willing to pay US $20 a month for a Netflix-like ESPN offering. ESPN currently charges providers more than US $6 a subscriber to carry the network. So if consumers had the choice, usually only given with direct-to-consumer online video options, they would not pay much for an ESPN offering. Reports have indicated ESPN would need to charge $30 for a similar bundle for it to make economic sense. Myles Udland writes in Business Insider that “Disney cannot take ESPN direct-to-consumer and they know it, whether they admit that publicly or not….The math for a direct-to-consumer offering for a basic cable network does not work, especially for channel(s) with very high monthly fees embedded within the current MVPD bundle. Per Disney’s, the owner of ESPN, November SEC filing, ESPN lost nearly 7 million subscribers over the last two years as the number of cord cutters continues to increase. At the end of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015, ESPN had a subscriber base of 92 million in comparison to 95 million at the end of the prior-year quarter and regressing to the level it had a decade ago.

Oscar de la Hoya’s Channels Now on OTT

Two new boxing channels are coming to streaming TV service FilmOn TV Networks, thanks to a new partnership announced by Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, and FilmOn TV Networks CEO Alki David. Both channels will go live at the end of January and will be free as part of filmon.com’s ad-supported OTT service. 10-time world champion De La Hoya’s classic fights will air on the Golden Boy Channel, while Golden Boy Promotions’ monthly boxing series LA FIGHT CLUB will live stream its bi-weekly fights on The Ring, with the first kicking off at 5:30 PST on January 29th. “Past, present or future, Golden Boy Promotions has, is and always will be about pitting the best against the best,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “This new partnership with FilmOn will only further showcase our mission by offering fans the best fights from today and yesterday.”

ESPN Extends Australian Open Rights

For those of you watching the Australian Open, know that if you move to the Caribbean or AustraliaLatin America you will be able to continue watching it through ESPN for the foreseeable future. ESPN International reached a five-year extension of its agreement with Tennis Australia for exclusive distribution rights in Latin America and the Caribbean of the Australian Open, the tennis season’s first Grand Slam event, it was announced by Richard Heaselgrave, commercial director of Tennis Australia and Tim Bunnell, senior vice president of production, programming, marketing and advertising sales for ESPN International. The agreement extends ESPN’s current distribution agreement through 2021. Under terms of the extension, ESPN will continue to have exclusive pay television and digital distribution rights throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. In addition, beginning in 2017, ESPN will have the distribution rights to several lead-up events to the Australian Open, including the Hopman Cup, World Tennis Challenge, Brisbane International and Apia International. Also, ESPN will have the rights to select coverage of the Australian Open qualifiers, “Legends,” Juniors and Wheelchair events.

Milwaukee Bucks go Hispanic

MilwaukeeThe Milwaukee Bucks announced a new initiative to expand the team’s presence in Milwaukee’s Hispanic community, highlighted by Spanish language radio broadcasts of five upcoming Bucks games. This year’s Spanish broadcasts are the cornerstone of a new partnership between the team and Bustos Media, which operates WDDW 104.7 FM “La Gran D” in Milwaukee. “We are very pleased to announce this partnership with the Milwaukee Bucks,” John Bustos, managing partner of WDDW 104.7 FM, said. “As this innovative new ownership group and management team return this proud franchise to prominence, they also are changing the landscape of Greater Milwaukee and will make a huge impact on the community. We look forward to working with them to bring that excitement to the fast-growing Hispanic community that we serve so well.”

Fox Attempts to Make Uefa League More Popular

Fox Sports kicked off its marketing campaign for the return of the Bundesliga, half a year after the network started airing matches from Germany’s top soccer league on its networks worldwide. That launch was hyped as groundbreaking, but the results have been mixed. Ratings in the U.S. for Bundesliga matches have been poor, averaging 55,000 per match for the first 17 games Fox aired in the 2015/2016 season, or around a tenth of what NBC draws for its English Premier League matches stateside. Only Leverkusen has averaged over 100,000 viewers per match in the U.S., largely due to Mexican star Javier Hernandez, aka Chicharito, who is a big draw for U.S. Hispanic fans. The biggest single draw in the U.S. was for a one-off, tape-delayed airing of the Sept. 13 match between Bayern Munich and Augsburg, which reached 926,000 viewers.

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