Spring Media and Red Bee unveil global women’s football OTT platform

Spring Media has made its latest moves in the streaming space by teaming up with Red Bee, the UK-based media services company, to create an international OTT platform for women’s football.

The launch of ‘Wnited’ was announced here at the first day of the Sportel trade fair in Monaco.

Heralding the “world’s first global OTT service dedicated to women’s football”, Spring Media and Red Bee unveiled their plans to go live in the first quarter of 2020.

Wnited is to aggregate “high-level multi-camera content from top tier leagues in Europe, Asia and the Americas as well as national team matches”.

Spring Media and Red Bee did not reveal the specific content that would be shown, but said that two “top leagues are already confirmed to host its best live matches” on the OTT platform and “with many more to be announced leading up to the launch”.

A total of over 300 live matches and various video-on-demand content will be offered. There will be a mixture of free-to-view and subscription options on the service that will launch on the Red Bee-managed OTT platform. Highlights, catch-up shows and documentaries will supplement the live match streaming.

Tobias Osmund, chief executive at Spring Media, said that women’s football “has reached a turning point when it comes to both viewership and media interest” and that the agency believes it is “just at the beginning of a steep growth curve”.

Steve Nylund, chief executive at Red Bee, described the joint offering as “a perfect example of how our managed OTT services can and should be used, reaching global audiences with high quality ultra-low latency live feeds and on-demand content, creating the best possible viewing experiences on any device”.

The launch of Wnited represents Spring Media’s latest move in the streaming sector as it continues to diversify its business model to lessen its dependency on media rights trading.

Earlier this year, the agency bought Fanseat, the global sports streaming service created by Finnish telco Elisa. That followed on from the purchase just under a year ago of a majority shareholding in StayLive, a Swedish company that has developed and delivers live streaming services in the Nordic market. In June 2018, Spring Media also acquired a majority stake in Sportacentrs, a Latvia-based sports media operation.

The acquisitions have been made with the aim of building Spring Media into an agency that can propose a full-service offering to small- and medium-sized federations, leagues and teams, and primarily in the OTT space.