I was reading an article about the AT&T acquisition of Time Warner and the fact is, it’s a move from a wireless provider to get heavily embedded in the concept of content provision in a new world of content consumption.
The fact is, the NFL have been bemoaning a lack of viewers in 2016 and they’ve offered a host of reasons, none of which I discount but several I would place behind some of the bigger reasons people are losing interest in the sport. On the heels of this, however, one cannot ignore the impact mobile consumption and cord-cutters have had on the traditional broadcast platform.
The NFL is looking for ways to monetize their video clips and they, like Formula 1, create a host of content, drama, action, soap opera moments and controversy. How best to monetize these updates and short clips in a digital world of Timelines, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc? It’s a similar scenario I’ve spoken many times about in F1 and now that Liberty Media are in the process of acquiring F1, one has to wonder just what the media group may be thinking as far as future monetization, content delivery and broadcast rights.
The fact is, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and others have emboldened a consumer market that has zero tolerance or patience for commercials. On-demand content is what the future demands and it leaves a gaping hole in the traditional advertising model that traditional broadcasters cling to.
When you consider growing the sport in the US, in particular, you would do well to follow the NFL, NBA and MLB sports series. The struggles they are facing are very real and the erosion of the traditional broadcast model and implosion of ESPN’s viewership—to the tune of 4 million per year—you start to get a clearer picture of what Liberty Media is facing from a content delivery model for a series that finds little purchase in the States.
AT&T’s acquisition is a big deal and not everyone is happy with it as the consolidation of media empires can be a tricky thing for a host of reasons. I would suggest that we may see an offensive reaction from someone like Verizon acquiring a group like Comcast/NBC et. al. in order to keep up with AT&T.
The result of wireless carriers acquiring broadcasters is a big move and I might argue that Liberty Media might look at some of these larger wireless providers for part of their content delivery partners. NBC has extended their contract through 2017 but I would say that all bets are off after next year and it will give Liberty some time to determine how they’ll approach the US marketplace and with which content delivery model.
If F1 is the pinnacle of technology, it would stand to reason that the series looks for a brand new delivery model. As a fan of F1 or any sport, you should be keenly concerned about the broadcasters, third-party streaming companies and all the orbital players involved because there is a war raging to keep the old model sustainable while a new model is orchestrated. There is a lot of room for the entire future of content delivery to be sorted behind closed doors that will impact the way you consume the content you want. Keep your eyes open and your minds open because the machine is changing and it may not be very likable. The Music industry is destroyed because they failed to stay ahead of the changing content delivery desires of their customers. The movie industry is struggling but broadcasters will be damned if they are going to let their entire business model implode. But will it? And what will Liberty do with F1?