The Battle for HDMI 1: Exploring the Operator and Pay TV landscape

The way we access content is changing. Pay TV providers have long dominated premium content consumption, but the introduction of 5G and HD networks have changed everything. New challengers in the market such as smart TV, streaming stick and games console manufacturers are now competing with traditional operators to become the super aggregators of human experience.

This week, our Chief Subscription Officer, Ben King, spoke to an audience of industry professionals during CommScope’s Home Innovation Forum about what this battle for HDMI 1 means for operators around the world.

He began, “the world is slowly transitioning from linear programming to more varied ways of accessing content. We see that with the hundreds of partnerships emerging between content providers like DAZN and the myriad of service providers – including set top box providers, smart TV and games console manufacturers, and the latest Silicon Valley entrants.

“Sport has long been used as a powerful driver of customer acquisition and retention for Pay TV providers. As some sport rights have been removed from Pay TV bundles over the years, key players have learnt that if they don’t have that content experience on their platform then they can no longer lay the claim to be the super aggregator of premium video content.”

Ben believes there is a natural symbiosis between Pay TV providers and IP first sport services like DAZN. He continued, “1 billion households around the world are Pay TV subscribers including 90% of sports fans, and our research shows that the majority of viewing hours in those households are via the TV set top box. As long as DAZN is not on that service, we’re putting a barrier between fans and their favourite sport. So, we think there is a natural partnership opportunity there.”

DAZN has successfully partnered with leading set top box providers as part of its vision to be the most accessible, convenient and frictionless premium sports experience in the world. DAZN is now available on Vodafone’s Giga TV and Deutsche Telekom’s MagentaTV in Germany, Comcast’s Xfinity Flex in the U.S. and Sky set top boxes across Germany and Italy, amongst other platforms.

On the advantages of being an IP first service, Ben added “we’re broadcasting up to 40 live events at any one time in our existing markets, which enables us to stream a cornucopia of events. Time shifted viewing also makes it more convenient for fans to watch their favourite content. They have full flexibility to watch the game as live, delayed, catch up, or highlights – whatever suits their lifestyle. Our job is to make sure fans can consume their favourite sport at any time, on any device they want.”

DAZN also benefits from a one-to-one relationship with every subscriber. Ben went on to explain, “we know where they’re streaming from, on which devices, what their favourite teams are as well as their payment preferences – that means we have a huge opportunity to personalise the service to them.

“Not only can we serve them advertising that’s tailored to them, but subscribers can also benefit from user experience value adds to make it a completely interactive experience. Everything from deep sport statistic integrations and gamification to in-app betting and community experiences. The ways you can extend the viewing experience to be more engaging are limitless.”

Lastly, looking to the future of the Pay TV and operator landscape, Ben explained “sport is currently regionalised all around the world. Whilst that brings significant revenue advantages, the fragmentation it causes is challenging. Platforms like DAZN can offer huge advantages as a multi-territory proposition. Linking all consumers from global social media and messaging platforms into a single dedicated sports platform like DAZN would be the ultimate fan experience.”

To enhance the sport viewing experience, DAZN partners with global leaders across the spectrum to deliver consumer centric collaborations. This includes partners who build the devices to discover and watch DAZN on, as well as a network of distribution and payment partners to deliver a simpler, more intuitive and more satisfying experience for sport fans.

The result is that DAZN brings fans at home the best live sport on the biggest and highest quality screens, across mobile, tablet, laptop and TV. Together with partners, DAZN builds stronger relationships with a wider base of customers and generate incremental revenue streams.