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Art Vandelay

BT Sport loses UFC rights

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IMG, their production partner, announced there’d be 2 linear channels a few weeks ago, which Eleven rowed back on.

They’ll have channels. The U.K. market isn’t there yet for an all streaming service.

I think UFC and NBA are great adds for them, moreso than foreign football, because there’s no credible British alternative. The U.K. is quite a myopic market that simply doesn’t watch non-native content in great numbers. Without EPL/EFL, theyre never going to be a mainstream prop but they’ve set themselves up nicely as a solid niche channel.

The only concern for them is, the pool of people who don’t value football more than niche sports is quite low. So you might have UFC fans who want to stay with Sky Sports and BT: the question is then, how many will be willing to add the extra subscription to their bundle?

They could do carrier deals with Sky, perhaps, where they’re folded in with Sky’s package and sky reimburse them directly: but for that to happen Sky would need to be concerned about customers churning to Eleven. Don’t see it.

So, breaking out from the niche space is going to be super, super hard. It’ll be interesting to see how they maintain quality. Time and time again, you see sports channels launch and watch their production quality suffer as they struggle to raise funds. It’s another reason NBA and UFC are solid adds, even if they potentially won’t be huge acquisition drivers - they’re beautifully produced feeds at no extra cost.

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I'm going to give it a chance before shitting on it. We're all resourceful enough to find the PPVs, should you not wish to pay to watch bloody Nunes v Pennington.

I only ever seem to watch proper telly these days for sport (yes, UFC being one), everything else is usually streamed through my Fire TV.

Be interesting to see how this effects the UFC's popularity in the UK. No doubt the combination of Conor and being on BT has really helped them.

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17 minutes ago, d-d-d-dAz said:

IMG, their production partner, announced there’d be 2 linear channels a few weeks ago, which Eleven rowed back on.

They’ll have channels. The U.K. market isn’t there yet for an all streaming service.

I think UFC and NBA are great adds for them, moreso than foreign football, because there’s no credible British alternative. The U.K. is quite a myopic market that simply doesn’t watch non-native content in great numbers. Without EPL/EFL, theyre never going to be a mainstream prop but they’ve set themselves up nicely as a solid niche channel.

The only concern for them is, the pool of people who don’t value football more than niche sports is quite low. So you might have UFC fans who want to stay with Sky Sports and BT: the question is then, how many will be willing to add the extra subscription to their bundle?

They could do carrier deals with Sky, perhaps, where they’re folded in with Sky’s package and sky reimburse them directly: but for that to happen Sky would need to be concerned about customers churning to Eleven. Don’t see it.

So, breaking out from the niche space is going to be super, super hard. It’ll be interesting to see how they maintain quality. Time and time again, you see sports channels launch and watch their production quality suffer as they struggle to raise funds. It’s another reason NBA and UFC are solid adds, even if they potentially won’t be huge acquisition drivers - they’re beautifully produced feeds at no extra cost.

It'll be interesting to see how the NBA works a deal with them, if they do agree to one. I already have NBA's own League Pass, which is amazing. Every game live and on-demand in HD. Plus condensed versions of each game the next day. Plus access to the 24/7 NBA TV channel and it's on pretty much every device. I don't see why you'd give Eleven Sports money for NBA when there's a better option already there. Unless of course, you want it for more than just one sport.

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I'm an MLB TV subscriber and sacked off BT Sports a while back as Baseball was the thing I watched most. I do miss NBA and UFC so will wait for more info on this. As Mike said, the convenience of skipping through the waffle and the ads at my leisure was great so hopefully there will be an option watch the following day and do the same. 

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Found this about ElevenSports

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/jul/28/eleven-sports-new-player-sport-broadcast-rights

Seems it is definitely streaming until they work with Virgin, Sky etc for a channel. They mentioned when first starting they had a pay per match option for Serie C football. 

Their website has UFC logo already on it so I'm assuming they cover it for other countries. 

http://elevensports.com/

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Seems the UFC are doing their level best to prevent as many people seeing their product as possible. PPV and paid streaming in the US, and now the same over here.

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It’s probably deliberate.

The idea is now that you can’t funnel free-to-air viewers to paying customers as readily as before, so you set the paywall higher up the funnel and monetise the minority as much as possible.

Ad revenue isn’t as lucrative as it used to be for anyone bar major sports, because of delayed viewing, and people are more willing than ever just to make do with what they can get for free.

The end game has to be eliminating most free-to-air, as well as most premium pay per view, and split the difference with affordable subscriptions for all content.

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Just wanted to say, @d-d-d-dAz, really enjoy reading your insights as someone working within the industry.  Always informative and perceptive.

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My BT went up, they are charging me £1:50 (plus a few other charges for separate things) to have the option of getting Amazon Prime (thats not including the money i would have to pay Amazon and I could get Amazon prime if I wanted it already) and probably the same when Now TV becomes fully available, I got a free month and wouldn't let me watch anything, so they let me cancel because I have a youview box.

Apparently BT is for sale to Deutsche Telecom and they fired 1000's of employees, who knows might be paper talk.

Eleven signed USPGA championship as well last week.

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6 hours ago, d-d-d-dAz said:

It’s probably deliberate.

The idea is now that you can’t funnel free-to-air viewers to paying customers as readily as before, so you set the paywall higher up the funnel and monetise the minority as much as possible.

Ad revenue isn’t as lucrative as it used to be for anyone bar major sports, because of delayed viewing, and people are more willing than ever just to make do with what they can get for free.

The end game has to be eliminating most free-to-air, as well as most premium pay per view, and split the difference with affordable subscriptions for all content.

The only problem is, that's the same route that boxing took back in the day, and it didn't do that sport much good at all. Took it absolutely ages to recover, actually.

Edited by David

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I feel this is a UFC cash grab. May lose them an audience, but will obviously get more money for the deal. I enjoy watching the odd event on BT Sport so I am probably done with it now. They will lose a lot of the more casual fans for sure

 

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7 minutes ago, Hannibal Scorch said:

I feel this is a UFC cash grab. May lose them an audience, but will obviously get more money for the deal. I enjoy watching the odd event on BT Sport so I am probably done with it now. They will lose a lot of the more casual fans for sure

 

It certainly does fit with the current owners motto, which seems to be "Get paid as much as possible now, who gives a fuck about 5 years down the line."

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Ever since the new owners took over it's just felt like they're going to bleed it dry and sell up ASAP when the deal is up. There doesn't seem to be any long term plans or vision like there was when the Fertittas were running the show. 

Has anyone even seen the new owners? They've been in charge ages now and I don't think I've ever clapped eyes on them. 

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Any idea on pricing plans for Eleven Sports in the UK, I just. went on there website and couldn't find where to sign up.

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