Guest Comment: the right(s) mix for federations – even beyond rights

"The global value of sport media rights is growing and is predicted to continue to grow in the near-future," says deltatre's Carlo De Marchis.

“The global value of sport media rights is growing and is predicted to continue to grow in the near-future,” says deltatre’s Carlo De Marchis.

Guest commentary from Carlo De Marchis, Deltatre, chief product officer

All sport properties, from International Sport Federations to National Leagues, have diverse strategies for generating revenues, including sport media rights sales, sponsorship deals and direct-to-fans business models. A recurring question that resonates in the industry is: “What is the right mix?”

The global value of sport media rights is growing and is predicted to continue to grow in the near-future. The latest period has seen big rights deals with a double-digit increase from previous cycles. This scenario, though, is extremely polarised, with most of the value going to premium properties.

Live sport is becoming more and more the most appealing content. Other genres such as entertainment and movies are being commoditised by the likes of Netflix and are becoming less of a differentiator.

You cannot do that with live sport. Expansion of digital, mobile and social channels are multiplying the way media can reach fans. Many sport properties are also becoming more global, from national interest to international.

Let’s have a look at the current landscape and at a segmentation of the industry even if context (type of sport, audience base, geographies, seasonal vs. one- time) has always to be considered and there is no right solution that works for everybody.


Strong revenues coming from media right deals with global reach; solid sponsorship deals, mostly global; increase exploitation of direct-to-fans models but limited from media rights deals. They should focus on:

•          Increase the service and products to right licensees, both for broadcast and broadband;

•          Create new content designed for digital consumption;

•          Leverage social media for content distribution;

•          Create new content and engagement models for sponsor brands;

•          Use direct-to-fans properties also as a platform for the media right licensees.


Some revenues coming from media rights deals, covering production costs; a mix of global and event-based sponsor; good direct-to-fans opportunity. They should focus on:

•          Offer a more appealing package to right-licensees, easier to activate and execute;

•          Cover all unsold territories with a sustainable direct-to-fans digital offering to reach a global audience.


Minimal media rights deals not covering production costs, limited reach through broadcast channels; sponsorship limited by minimal reach; great opportunity for direct-to-fans as no constraints from media rights. They should focus on:

•          Increasing global reach with direct-to-fans channels;

•          Generate revenue from direct-to-fans models;

•          Create demand for acquiring rights and sponsorship through increased reach;

•          Find alternatives remote production solution for the coverage of their events.

What do they all need?

A solid broadcast and digital platform that provides new ways of creating content, services and fan experiences both for rights-licensees (B2B) and direct-to-fans (B2C). This platform should include:

• A production solution that enables integration of enhanced data and creation of new content assets;

• Innovative remote productions solutions for sustainable event coverage;

• A platform that allows the distribution of content to all rights-licensees;

• A solid digital video solution that allows multiplatform consumption of live and VOD content, available to all rights-licensees;

• A digital, mobile, social platform for their own direct-to-fans property.

deltatre’s ambition

Our ambition at deltatre is to provide services and solutions based on our platforms that are designed to scale and make great sport experiences for all tiers, sustaining the high level traffic of the biggest events worldwide, but also delighting those fans of niche sport who are often left unsatisfied.
A great example is our work for the multi-sport games. We have democratised the access to full digital video solutions that reach a wider audience with the complete content set of those events.
The beauty of digital is that often the more advanced user experiences are provided by the underdogs: those with no legacy constraints and less political limitations, meaning they can experiment and have more space to innovate.”

For more on the deltatre approach, click here.

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