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BT Sport Go For Power and Placement

by Rob Georgeson | 25.05.2016
BT Sport unexpectedly decided to live stream both the recent Europa League final and the upcoming Champions League final on Youtube for free. This may be a small victory for fans, who regularly enjoyed the annual event on terrestrial TV until BT shook up the football rights market in 2013, but some perspective is required. BT Sport pay an eye watering £299m a season for the rights to stream all European games via their subscription-service, costing users anything between £5-13.50 per month.

So what’s with this radical decision to live stream the finals for free?

The Drum explains that; ‘YouTube has promised to give it (BT Sport), data on every single viewer that streams the game. This is the only way to make streaming sports on social sites commercially viable‘.

So could this ‘stunt’ actually just be one big data buy for BT Sport?

Analysts at BT Sport can assume that all these viewers are non-subscribers to BT Sport, but are clearly an audience who have a high affinity to the products they are offering. They can then use this data to retarget this pool of users with ads in the hope of acquiring their membership for next season (hopefully it’s not entirely made up of broke students & Sky Sports subscribers…).

So can we expect Facebook or Periscope to be live streaming a cold, wet, windy night in Stoke anytime soon? Maybe not. But it certainly sheds light on the value of quality data and how even the upper echelons of decision-makers base their business strategy around it.

Read The Drum’s full article here.