UKTV Sports have announced that they will be premiering Euroleague Basketball live on Broadband, rather than their more normal means, on the goggle box (TV).
PremierTV, a sports rights agency, are working with UKTV to provide clearance of the content and are providing the technical aspects of the delivery. They have built a broadband subscription site, UKTVSlam.tv, and plan to deliver live streaming of two key Euroleague Basketball games each week.
We spoke to Martin Henlan, Sports development manager at UKTV Sports to dig a bit deeper into the story.
Henlan raised a very valid point. Currently there’s no research available for how, or even if, people will consume niche sports over broadband in the UK. If UKTV were to commission a study it would cost them considerably more money than them just getting down and carrying out the trial themselves. We love this let’s-just-do-it approach, but suspect media consultancies all over the world will be meeting is little huddles trying to figure out how they can counter this plain common-sense.
Interestingly, and quite against normal conventions, UKTV will be using the TV shows to promote the broadband, pay-for content. Henlan said they were “looking to build a community and a service, where we can learn valuable lessons, with the potential to take this knowledge to coverage of other sports.”
We find the pricing slightly confusing – either a one-off annual payment, £39.99 (E57, $70) ; annual direct debit payment, £34.99; or a monthly direct debit payment, £3.99.
In our book, at those prices you’ve got to be a pretty devoted basketball fan (and it’s claimed that there are over a million in the UK), to be happy to pay £35 and up to. For the cash they will see only two basketball games a week, delivered as it will be for most of the viewers, to a PC. Clearly the whole offering becomes more attractive if you have your home media centre attached in your cinema room – but the number who currently have this is an insignificant number.
PremierTV will also provide the video-on-demand technology for basketball fans to access video highlights of every other Euroleague Basketball match played each week, as well as Euroleague Basketball news and features.
Due to content licensing deals, the content will be geo-blocked – in an effort to try and ensure the content is not seen outside the UK and Eire.
This coming Friday there will be free access to the the live game, so what are you waiting for? Give it a go.