While, streaming services have been challenging the traditional pay TV model within the wider media landscape for some years now, sports broadcasting rights remained the final major property yet to see significant investment from pure-OTT services. But according to Ampere’s latest research in the big five European markets – UK, Italy, Germany, France, and Spain– the proportion of total spend on sports rights coming from subscription OTT services in these countries will reach 20% in 2022, up from 12% in 2021.
Serie A’s landmark rights deal with DAZN means that Italy leads the way in Europe with more than half (53%) of the country’s sports spend generated by subscription OTT services by the end of the year. Germany (32%), Spain (16%) and France (14%) have also experienced major investment by streaming services, while this figure is just 2% in the UK, a market currently dominated by pay TV incumbent Sky and to a lesser extent BT Sport. However, all major subscriptions sports services in the UK (Sky, BT Sport, Eurosport) are also available as an OTT service. Among UK sports fans with Internet access, only 15% say they never watch sports via online video services, while 62% stream sports on a weekly basis or more.
In 2021 DAZN became the third largest spender on TV sports rights across the big five European markets, overtaking BT Sport. In 2022, Sky will remain the top spender on sports rights at €3.4bn, while DAZN will rise above Telefonica to second, spending €1.8bn in the five countries. Amazon, the other major driver of subscription OTT growth in sports rights spend across these markets, will move from 10th to 6th in 2022.