Disclaimer: All assets and imagery © Premier League. Yozu Creative are not affiliated with the Premier League in any way. This work is conceptual and is not a real product.
Could you imagine a world where you could get access to all Premier League games — both live and archival — through a direct-to-consumer (D2C) streaming service? A decision to move away from traditional broadcasting methods could have a significant impact on sports entertainment — so we decided to put together a concept of the platform to show what they are missing!
Currently, Premier League games are available live in 188 countries, with around 200 million households globally using pay-TV for access. This is huge global audience with a dedicated following and the potential is massive. Now, we would never expect any platform to gain 100% conversion, however, if just 15% of these households (30 million) switched to a new subscription service, paying an average fee of £19.99 per month (excluding commercial opportunities), the Premier League would earn nearly £600 million in monthly revenue, or over £7 billion in annual revenue — over £5 billion more than the £1.6 billion (£5.1 billion total) currently received from broadcasters.
It’s important to note that they would need to cover all infrastructure costs, broadcasting costs, presenter salaries, and other expenses within that figure. However, these costs are unlikely to be insurmountable for such a large organisation with that level of revenue.
If the platform could convert 30% of its current audience (60 million) to any potential streaming service — even at a lower average fee of £12.99 — they would earn monthly revenues of £779.4 million (over £9 billion per year). Given that the top-flight football season only runs for 10 months of the year, even if there were a 50% drop-off in subscribers during the off-season of June and July, the Premier League would still retain monthly revenues of £389 million without the overhead of game broadcasts.
It’s worth noting that there would be significant potential for revenue growth beyond these figures, especially if there was the offer of additional tier options for things such as ultra-high-definition (UHD), increased device viewing limits, as well as huge commercial opportunities. Overall, the potential for a Premier League streaming platform is vast, and it will be interesting to see if and how this develops over the coming years.
The honest answer is that we don’t know, but we can speculate on some of the potential reasons.
The investment for this type of platform would likely run into millions of pounds once you start scoping out all the required functionality, personalisation, customer support, and the infrastructure required to allow for millions of users watching both live and on-demand content.
While this may not be a significant issue for the likes of the Premier League, they also need to consider the next point.
It is true, especially in the UK, that people are fed up with paying hundreds of pounds every month to watch their football team. However, the Premier League isn’t the only place that fans want to watch their team, with the likes of the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, FA Cup, and Carabao Cup being a mainstay of club competitions. Fans may also subscribe to the likes of Sky Sports and BT Sport for sports including golf, rugby, UFC etc.
These other competitions — plus alternative sports — won’t be broadcast on the Premier League platform, meaning that dedicated fans may still find themselves wanting or needing to spend money each month on existing sports packages.
Given this, they may believe that this presents a risk to attracting people to the platform or, even worse, their brand by saddling fans with an additional cost for access to games they can already watch with their TV packages.
The main reason that selling TV rights has likely been seen as the most appealing option for the Premier League over the years is that they don’t have to become a broadcasting company. The likes of Sky Sports and BT Sport can cover the costs required to film, edit, present, and broadcast each match without them ever needing to recruit or grow in that area.
They also don’t need to (directly) worry about promotion either, as both companies will promote the games they are broadcasting to ensure high viewing figures to ultimately justify their investments.
As a digital agency with a focus on designing and developing successful digital products and platforms, it’s no surprise that we’re always on the lookout for new and innovative ideas in the industry. While we may be football fans ourselves, our interest in the Premier League goes beyond just the sport itself.
Recently, there has been talk of the Premier League potentially moving away from their traditional rights deal to a streaming platform. As experts in the digital industry, we wanted to share our perspective on this potential shift.
At Yozu Creative, we have a deep understanding of what it takes to create successful digital products that resonate with users in different markets and we know the importance of investing in design & technology as well as the potential benefits it can bring to brands and businesses. However, we also understand that there may be reasons why some companies might be hesitant to take this step.
As we explored the potential of this platform, we considered all aspects of the product and the possible benefits and drawbacks it could bring. While we would love to work on a project like this, we also recognise the importance of ensuring that the reasons behind the decision are solid, and that any partnership we engage in can bring mutual value.
In conclusion, our interest in any potential Premier League streaming platform is not just limited to our passion for football. As a digital agency, we see the potential that this shift could bring and would be excited to explore it further. We’re committed to providing valuable insights and perspective on the digital industry, and we believe that our expertise in this area can help businesses succeed in the ever-evolving digital landscape.