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Premier League to capture new audiences with Lasso

Ted Lasso, the hit Apple TV comedy series, has agreed a licensing deal with The Premier League worth as much as £500,000, breaking new ground between a sports competition and a TV show.

Photo Source: Apple TV
Apple’s hit comedy television show Ted Lasso has agreed a licensing deal with The Premier League, according to a report from The Athletic. The contract, worth as much as £500,000, means that the show’s producers will be able to use the Premier League’s archive footage, logos, club kits, and the league trophy.
 
The Emmy-Award-winning comedy series follows Ted Lasso, an American college football coach who is hired by AFC Richmond, a fictional English soccer team, in an attempt by its new owner to spite her ex-husband. Lasso tries to win over the sceptical English market with his folksy demeanour while dealing with his inexperience in the sport. 
 
By most accounts, the show is the best that Apple TV has got. This is a fact that the streaming platform is acutely aware of; They renewed Ted Lasso for a third season before season two had even began filming. This new licensing deal will provide that season with a more life-like aesthetic – similar to how EA use club and player likenesses within their FIFA video game, which Apple will be hoping translates into increased viewing figures.
 
While it is reported that the Premier League wasn’t initially enthusiastic about the show when it premiered last August, its subsequent popularity has prompted executives to sit up and take notice of its potential as an overseas advertisement (which is beyond ironic, given that Lasso is based on a character of the same name that Jason Sudeikis first portrayed in a series of commercials for NBC Sports' coverage of the Premier League).
 
The deal, which breaks new ground between a sports competition and a TV show, does represent a smart move from both parties, improving the authenticity of the show and bringing new audiences to the Premier League.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK 
Photo Source: GIPHY
Last week, SportTechie reported that Buzzer, a mobile app that livestreams key moments of sporting events in exchange for micropayments, has attracted a demographic of NHL fans nearly half as young as the league’s traditional average-viewer on television. 
 
During the 2020-21 NHL season, Buzzer let users pay as little as .99 cents to stream the last two minutes of any period across all regular season and postseason games. This proved hugely popular among 18- to 28-year-olds, who made up 72% of the users that bought these NHL moments. 
 
This fits the hypothesis of Murray Barnett, Sports Pundit Explains... podcast co-host and a director at media consultancy, D2C Sport, who told SportBusiness, “Micropayments are not just about incremental revenue or reducing piracy.” 
 
“For younger generations of cord cutters this may be the only way to reach them. They are mobile-first. They are the “House of Highlights” generation. Clips and short-form content are their thing. They are not inclined towards, nor able to pay, a substantial monthly subscription.”
 
Barnett concluded that, as with anything new, the first step is the most challenging: reducing the friction of the user onboarding experience. The challenge for growth will be ease of use and a clear articulation of the benefits to consumers. Micropayments won’t replace broadcast or OTT subscriptions, but they could offer some extra revenue, reach and perhaps most importantly, relevance.

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WEEKLY ROUND UP 
Here's a few of the top articles that I've come across this week... I hope you enjoy!
Broadcast and Media
Photo Source: FIFA
Governance and Finance
Photo Source: BCCI
Sponsorship and Marketing
  • PUMA has partnered IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore to launch a new 'athleisure' range.
  • Abu Dhabi T10 records massive 83.91% increase overall audience and announces the addition of 5 new sponsors.
  • The NBA is not yet willing to allow its teams to sell jersey patch ads to betting companies – unlike the NHL.
Photo Source: YouTube
Looking Beyond
  • Barstool is expected to hit $200m in annual revenue in 2022 with addition of everything from branded bars to its own college football coverage (as well as frozen pizza!). 
  • Amazon has announced a plethora of new products and features related to its health and fitness services, including an interactive home workout service, personalized meal planning service and a new wearable device.
  • Media startup Ozy shuts down after New York Times report raises concerns about its viewership figures and claims that its co-founder impersonated a YouTube executive on a call with Goldman Sachs. 
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