Patrick Mostboeck, SVP Audiovisual at Sportradar

Sportradar’s Patrick Mostboeck: football streaming season is always on

Patrick Mostboeck, SVP Audiovisual at Sportradar, turns to the topic of football streaming in the firm’s latest blog. While localisation is key, he says, fans should also be exposed to competitions across alternative regions to broaden their appetite.

Football is a sport that captivates millions of fans worldwide and with the European season now underway, betting operators should be using every tool in the box to engage with their customers. Enhancing how sports fans experience live stream events is a sure way to boost loyalty and retention, while raising the game in terms of revenue potential.

In a fiercely competitive industry, where fans now consume content at home and on-the-go, operators must understand how best to navigate the fast-paced nature of life to capture audiences’ limited attention. By optimising their video offering, betting companies can deliver more personalised content to provide a superior streaming experience to fans. 

Highlight videos are another effective way of personalising user experiences and retaining customers. By using Sportradar’s Live Channel Promotion solution, betting operators can send personalised push notifications featuring real-time updates and near-live clips. The volume and variety of an operator’s live stream portfolio is a powerful customer retention tool that increases opportunities for fans to engage with existing and new betting markets. 

Another key to unlocking new markets is ensuring that while matches offered are relevant to localised audiences, fans should also be exposed to competitions across alternative regions to broaden their appetite. European operators will naturally focus on their own crowd-pleasing domestic leagues. 

However, adding global football content provides another dimension to their streaming portfolio as it delivers a wealth of new live events across multiple time zones – for instance, the Korean K-League and CONMEBOL Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana competitions in South America. 

According to Sportradar’s data, the number of events sportsbooks stream peaks between 3pm and 5pm UK time on weekends, which is not a surprise as most European football matches are played within this time window. As the window between 1am and 3am is also now delivering premium content from around the world, we recognise a significant growth in streaming sessions of these matches. 

This is a means to introduce fans to new leagues and competitions while serving to guard against noticeable lulls in live activity. It enables sportsbooks to introduce new betting markets, while serving up fresh content to fans, as and when they want to engage.

A compelling live streaming portfolio is about attracting new customers but also retaining existing audiences to encourage repeat visits and longer dwell times. Offering a wider range of events across a broader timeline enables fans to engage with an event of their choice at their time of their convenience. It also opens possibilities of encouraging them to experience new games, which ordinarily may not have hit their radar. 

We have recognised bettors switching their attention to games with well-known players like Ronaldo or Messi. For instance, Sportradar recently added US Soccer’s US Open Cup competition, the equivalent of the FA Cup, to its offering as well as the Asian Cup, featuring several prominent teams from the Saudi Arabian League.

This also opens access to otherwise less exposed matches, facilitating opportunities for fans to experience a multitude of new betting markets. Sportradar’s case study with the betting operator MaxBet showed a 406% growth in live betting pay ins, and 235% in live betting tickets, over the course of three seasons for German Bundesliga when implementing live streaming. 

There are several success stories we have recently witnessed. For a client in Italy we have just seen a large uplift in turnover after activating streaming (+ 391% increase in turnover with football events). 

Integrating a live video stream onto a betting platform has never been easier. Sportradar provides a state-of-the-art user interface for live streams, easy to use on sportsbooks’ websites and mobile apps. This means that bettors can watch the action unfold and place live bets all in one place, removing the distraction of looking at alternative screens and channels and discourages fans from leaving the betting operator’s website. This markedly improves dwell time and customers’ overall viewing experience while ultimately generating a higher GGR (Gross Gaming Revenue) for sportsbooks. 

Many betting operators are now being seen as alternative OTT providers to the more traditional sports media channels. Some of Sportradar’s clients are already taking more than 8,000 live streamed football matches across 60 leagues and tournaments annually. This convergence is now widely recognised as a powerful tool to leverage fan engagement with may sportsbooks committed to understanding how streaming and other interactive elements can upgrade their customer experience.

As a result, bookmakers are shifting from a single business model to a more hybrid approach, which is seeing them move further into the entertainment space. The rewards are bountiful as more fans are attracted to their site, beyond their traditional betting audiences. This delivers additional chances to increase dwell times and potentially convert new fans into active betting customers.

Sportradar has, for a long time, recognised the importance of a comprehensive live stream offering. It is constantly updating its portfolio and recently added access to the Portuguese First Division, one of Europe’s top ten football leagues. Since August, this year, clients have been able to add official live streams and data from all 306 First Division games to their sportsbooks. With over half of Portugal’s First Division players coming from more than 60 nations, the league has the power to attract fans from all over the world. For instance, there has been a significant increase in Brazilian fans, with Portuguese cup competitions, including Taça de Portugal and Taça da Liga, proving extremely popular.

In a highly competitive market, any tactics that a betting operator can employ to make them stand out against their competitors are crucial. The key takeaway is recognising the value of enhancing the bettors’ experience by serving them a better quality of live streaming content. In addition, encouraging fans to broaden their horizons by offering competitions from around the world, which, in turn, introduces new engagement opportunities. 

This is one reason Sportradar is continuously adding to its portfolio and paying attention to where the next football games, delivering new betting markets, are likely to be.

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