Streaming is going to be the primary way people consume sports content according to former ESPN President John Skipper. Skipper is now Executive Chairman of the Perform Group, which considers itself the digital leader in global sports media and is, in fact, one of the fastest growing sports media companies in the world.
John Skipper, currently Executive Chairman of Perform Group and previously President of ESPN talks about how streaming will be the future of sports viewing in an interview with CNBC at the Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal:
Streaming is the Future of Sports Viewing
There’s very little doubt that the way fans are going to get their sports in the future, in the near future in some places, and in the medium future, other places are through a streaming service. It’s a superior technology. It does not have to be linear. You can do multiple games. You can have a one-on-one relationship with your customer. As the infrastructure gets built out it’s a superior video experience. It’s the future of sports viewing.
It takes a lot of infrastructure and that infrastructure is not there right now. The ability to stream concurrently to large numbers of people can only be done by a few services including services that we own. We have the ability to stream up to 10 million live concurrent viewers, which as far as I know there are only two or three companies in the world that can do that.
Live Sports is the Most Valuable Content in Media
Our biggest competitors are anybody who’s bidding for sports rights. Ultimately, we have a very simple business, unlike the business of entertainment where you have to invent new dramas and comedies or talk shows, reality shows, or game shows. We simply have to get the rights to the sporting events that people care about.
What I brought is not the new world of data. What I brought is the understanding that live sports is the most valuable content in the media universe because people care passionately about it and because they are unique events that cannot be replicated. If you have the game they want to watch you’re in business. I am learning at the Zone about the technology of how to deliver that and then the advantage of having a one-to-one relationship and data on your customers.
About John Skipper:
John Skipper was named Executive Chairman of the Perform Group on May 8, 2018. Skipper previously served as President of ESPN Inc., where he worked for 20 years across all areas of the business.