The FAST Way for Sports Teams to Better Engage With Fans and Monetize New Opportunities

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There’s nothing like watching your favorite sporting event live, experiencing all the great plays happening in the moment. This love for watching live sports is a tradition — a legacy passed on from generation to generation. But how sports fans choose to experience it is changing. Now, anyone with a smart device can follow their favorite sports and watch live events, and they don’t even need a cable subscription. Indeed, since a free and high-quality immersive sports experience is just a few clicks away, many are increasingly watching sports events on their connected devices. 

According to Statista, approximately 57.5 million viewers in the United States watched digital live sports content at least once per month in 2021, projected to reach over 90 million by 2025. The definition of an immersive sports experience is also constantly evolving. More than buying tickets and watching games, fans are building digital communities, co-watching, and engaging with each other.

With this space constantly evolving, sports teams need to catch up by offering more immersive experiences. One way to do this is through Free Ad-Supported Streaming TV (FAST). FAST is seeing explosive growth in demand and popularity, with 63% of live sports fans paying extra for a personalized live sports streaming experience. And, according to Forbes, by 2023, 56.1 million U.S. households are likely to give up paid TV services altogether, with 90% of younger people preferring FAST services. These numbers paint a clear picture of how the preferences of sports fans are changing rapidly.

For sports teams, launching a FAST offering is a good way to engage better with sports fans and open up new monetization opportunities. For example, with the help of a good tech provider, they can ensure broadcast-grade quality and low latency rates for fans taking advantage of FAST-powered sports channels. After all, watching their favorite games anytime and anywhere is a dream come true for every sports fan. And, all the archival content is a virtual gold mine: Curating and programming the archives can open up newer revenue streams without additional production costs.

Other offerings can include perks such as exclusive backstage action, interviews, premium highlights, in-depth game analysis, and more to deliver a hyper-personalized viewing experience for the fans. A dedicated FAST platform can also open up opportunities to run targeted ad campaigns. As fans are more likely to find these relevant to their liking, the teams will likely see healthy ad performance and ROI. It’s a win-win situation: Sports teams get better ad revenues, and fans get relevant non-intrusive ads.

No matter how big or small, sports teams have much to gain from adding their FAST offerings. Acting now will ensure they stay abreast and take advantage of significant revenue opportunities while meeting the growing demands of a new generation of sports fans.

Rekha Aramuthu Carriere is a Senior Manager, Account Management at Amagi. She is focused on the intersection of sports and technology. Prior to Amagi, she worked on digital products at WWE, XFL, Oracle, and other VC-backed technology startups. She earned an MBA in Sports Management from San Diego State University. She received her BE in Information Science and Engineering from BMS College of Engineering in Bangalore, India. She captained her college and high school basketball teams. She is passionate about causes that empower young women in sports.

[Editor's note: This is a contributed article from Amagi. Streaming Media accepts vendor bylines based solely on their value to our readers.]

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