f there’s was any doubt that live streaming services are capable of transforming a company’s fortunes, one only need to look at the recent announcement by Matchroom Boxing. Following a wave of speculation at the start of 2018, Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn announced that his company would be partnering with the Perform Group for an industry first. Aiming to revolutionise the way fans watch world-class boxing, Hearn will now be streaming 16 shows a year via DAZN. The $1 billion (£742 million) deal will not only mean more boxing shows in the US, but a new way of watching the biggest fights. According to Hearn, the pay-per-view TV model is slowly dying and subscription services are taking over.
Streaming Sport Becomes Big Business
With a huge budget and the live streaming technology to back it, Matchroom Boxing US will now be challenging established TV networks such as HBO and Showtime to become the leading player in the market. However, the reason a deal such as this could even come together is thanks to the continued growth of the live streaming market. When Len Blavatnik bought the Perform Group in 2014, he paid £700 million. Today, despite it switching to a non-public company, the Financial Times estimates it’s worth around £3 billion. This level of growth is a direct result of the continued evolution and acceptance of live streaming technology.
Indeed, we only have to look at one of the market leaders to see how the industry has grown in recent years. Before Twitch became a mainstream platform, it was a niche site for gaming fans. Known as Justin.TV back then, the streaming service started as founder Justin Kan broadcasting his life to a few thousand followers. Today, after expanding the platform to include gaming and music content, Twitch attracts more than 100 million visitors each month. In fact, since Amazon paid $960 million to buy the company, stats have shown that it attracts the same daily viewing figures as CNN, Fox News and ESPN.
Streaming Innovations Create New Cashflows
With Twitch essentially paving the way for a passive form of streaming, it’s been left to gaming developers to adapt the technology. Log in to a modern online casino and you’ll now find a selection of live dealer games powered by RIFD sensors and HD webcams. Indeed, at Mr Green, as well as having the option to bet between £1 and £10,000, players can see the dealer in real-time. Much like Matchroom and the Perform Group have seen their fortunes improve thanks to live streaming, so too has Mr Green.
Since the company introduced its own branded live games in 2016, its total revenue has increased from €792 million (£692 million) to more than €1 billion (£874 million). Naturally, the upturn in profit isn’t solely down to its live streaming products, but they’ve certainly helped. Indeed, from a meagre selection of just three games, the company now has 42 live tables available on its mobile app alone. What’s clear from this and the changes at Matchroom Boxing is that live streaming is a game changer. Regardless of the industry, a move towards a more direct, personal and accessible form of viewing is a positive one.