Sports rights: Will streamers bid up prices?
Global SVOD operators are expanding their sports content offerings. Amazon just bought UK Champions League rights, Apple signed US baseball and global football (soccer) deals, Paramount and partners won the Indian Premier League cricket auction, while Netflix unsuccessfully bid on the US Formula One licence.
In the US, streamers feed an already very competitive market, while in Europe they could potentially relaunch inflation for rights after a period of stagnation. Next moves by Warner Bros. Discovery (BT Sport and Eurosport) and Disney will be critical. Sky and Canal+ could be facing upward cost pressures.
If rights fragmentation were to increase, deeper aggregation and bundling may be necessary to avoid shrinking the consumer pool while the pressure to consolidate may intensify. Intriguingly, global rights deals may become more likely.