Will more people watch the 2020 Olympics via OTT than traditional TV?

Discussion started by Josh Bloom , on Thursday, 15 September 2016 10:16

With NBC announcing that more people than ever watched the 2016 Games digitally, and with Eurosport the pan-European rights holder operating an OTT product, will the 2020 Games in Tokyo be the tipping point where more people watch on OTT products than on TV?

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Sarah Kiefer
2020 is likely to be the OTT tipping point in some countries but the picture will vary greatly country by country depending on factors like the quality and speed of wifi and 3G/4G connectivity and the time difference between that country and Japan. Much will also depend on the quality and availability of the OTT offerings from Olympics rights holders. Rights holders need to provide OTT services on all devices so that fans can watch from the comfort of their living rooms on a Smart TV, on their phones while on the go and (perhaps covertly) at work on a PC. The user experience of these services will need to be intuitive and strike the right balance between flexibility and ease of use and streams will have to be of high quality and reliability to match or better traditional TV.

In countries other than the UK where the the Olympics can feature commercial breaks, rights owners will need to strike the right balance with ad load and should consider how to deliver more personalized ads to earn higher ad revenue while providing a relevant experience to viewers. Given the 7 or 8 hour time difference between Tokyo and Europe, OTT services do offer rights holders a way to engage sports fans when they're not in front of their main TV during prime time. So I really hope that OTT services will take off and represent a much larger percentage of total viewing, possibly even with minimal erosion in linear viewing meaning higher overall ratings for the games. Rights holders have the next 4 years to work this out. On your marks, get set, go
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