Platforms need to ‘come together’ to fight piracy, big and small

To deal with the twin threats of changing consumer behaviour and piracy, sports media needs to take more combined action and create more unique content.

That was a message of ‘where next for US and global media’, a panel at the Sports Decision Makers Summit in Miami today.

Antonio Briceño, deputy managing director, US & Canada, beIN Sports, told the conference that piracy required a more coordinated response: “It took the music industry 10 years. I think we have to be much faster than that, because we don’t have 10 years.”

He found agreement on the panel, which also featured Valerie Immele, senior vice-president of Business, Turner Sports and Eli Velazquez, executive vice-president, sports content, NBCU Telemundo Enterprises.

Velazquez said: “I don’t think any of us would not want to participate in trying to solve for that challenge…it would just require concerted effort.

“I like Antonio’s idea – we should come together and attack these challenges – but also as content providers we should be working harder to create content that makes people not [want] to do those things?

“How much special access content can you create, around this IP, that is must-see? I will pay extra to watch an event that is providing me with more value than just the match itself.”

Doing that required a much less transactional relationship with rights-holders than has historically been the case in sports media, they said, particularly when it comes to the exploitation of digital rights.

“It’s becoming not just a transactional relationship but a meaningful one between us and them,” added Velazquez. “I am very happy to report…they are getting it. I think rights-holders understand they have to be more savvy with their IP.”

Immele said: “It’s not just: we’ll write you a cheque and take your content. We are all trying to solve for the same thing, engagement on all platforms. Where we can be most successful as media partners is through true partnerships with rights-holders.”