“Winter is coming on media rights for the next 3 to 4 years” was the gloomy perspective of Steve Pagliuca at Leaders last week, with the value of Serie A’s rights falling and Ligue 1’s reserve price for rights not met by prospective bidders.
As sport grapples with a generational shift in audiences and competition in the attention economy, rightsholders must turn their attention to the Sporting Product – ensuring that they:
Inspire fans through the quality of athletes and teams
Excite fans through high uncertainty and jeopardy in the competition
Engage fans in a way that makes them care
During the past 20 years sport has excelled in commercialising fandom, but this yield is plateauing. The new battleground is the core sporting product, where new value can be created.
Winter may be coming, but spring can bring green shoots for rightsholders brave enough to rethink and reinvent their Product.