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By Wim Ponnet

As someone once wisely said, “Change is the only constant.” The fervor at SportsPro Madrid 2023 suggests that the EMEA Sports Media landscape is on an exhilarating journey, shaping the industry’s future.

With over a thousand attendees from sports, telecoms, and media across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, the quest was for groundbreaking innovation, monetization strategies, and technological innovation. The ultimate objective: having the flexibility to keep fans engaged and to pivot the business to stay relevant.

Relevance was the unspoken focus; rights holders, broadcasters, telcos, and super aggregators recognize that fans have choices in spending their entertainment budgets and time. The expectations have shifted, influenced by the Netflix effect on TV content quality.

The sports media content landscape is diverse and at times overwhelming, ranging from original content to live events, AI-crafted highlights, and alternative broadcast formats. To succeed, sports media players must master the art of curating personalized content that resonates with their evolving audiences.

Discoverability is the elephant in the room; fans must find and engage with content. Technology is the lifeline for sports media, with businesses embracing tech innovations poised for success. From low-latency streaming to AI-driven personalization, technology opens new horizons for growth.

Monetization strategies are undergoing a seismic shift from subscription dominance to models like FAST, AVOD, SVOD, and TVOD. Advertisers are flexing their muscles, and the trend towards super aggregation promises a unified entry point for consumers, revolutionizing the industry.

SportsPro Madrid underscored that the future of the sports media industry is not crystal clear. The key takeaway is the importance of adaptability, content diversity, and the transformative power of technology for thriving and future-proofing the industry. It’s not just survival of the fittest; it’s the triumph of the adaptable, where architecture matters. SportsPro Madrid 2023 offered a glimpse into an exciting future for sports media, emphasizing the need for flexibility and transformative technology.

Wim Ponnet