Pro14 launches it's own OTT subscription service

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Post by marty2086 on Tue May 14, 2019 2:27 pm



The Guinness PRO14 has become the first major rugby union competition to launch its own OTT video platform thanks to a ground-breaking partnership with StreamAMG.

After major world-wide broadcasts were unveiled by the Championship earlier this season, supporters in selected international territories will also be able to watch all the action from across the Championship live via an official Guinness PRO14 direct-to-consumer platform. After successful streaming of Guinness PRO14 games on social media to selected territories this season, an expected audience has already signed up to the very first to access PRO14 TV. The service launches in time for the climax of the season – the Guinness PRO14 Finals Series.

The service is now available at www.pro14.tv and fans will be able to choose from a range of flexible packages (priced here in Euros for comparison), Pay-per-view passes for individual games will be priced at €3.99, with a weekend pass (Friday, Saturday, Sunday fixtures; 72 hours) available for €6.99.

Traditional monthly and seasonal options will be launched for the 19/20 season. In addition to live, chargeable match coverage, the service will offer free registration-led access to a comprehensive library of clips, highlights, full-match replays and a range of exclusive content.

The Guinness PRO14 has already proven a hit with audiences around the world as record-breaking broadcast deals within the UK & Ireland with Premier Sports & eir Sport have made all 153 games available for the first time. Additionally, coverage from DAZN, SuperSport and ESPN has ensured that the reputation of the Championship continues to grow across the globe.

Dermot Rigley, Commercial Director of PRO14 Rugby, said: “Launching our own OTT video platform to reach fans around the world was a logical next step for us as we experience more demand for the Guinness PRO14 than ever before. To be the first major rugby union tournament to launch an OTT service is in keeping with our commitment to innovation and a commitment to embrace new technologies.

“Since expanding the Championship into South Africa in 2017 we have experienced significant growth across all metrics including attendances, social media engagement and, of course, signing record-setting broadcast deals earlier this year.

“We are looking forward to bringing the excitement of Guinness PRO14 rugby directly to supporters of our clubs. To deliver this we are extremely pleased to be working with StreamAMG, who have a strong track record in the sector. Their technical expertise was very much in evidence throughout the selection process.”

Duncan Burbidge, Chief Executive Officer of StreamAMG, added: “To be able to work with a top-flight sporting property in the form of Guinness PRO14 is a real honour for us. Our team is relishing the opportunity to bring their technical expertise and sporting expertise to bear in the delivery of a best-in-class OTT proposition.”

The service will be based on StreamAMG’s MediaPlatform video management platform as well as incorporating CloudMatrix, a revolutionary new feed-based distribution platform. StreamAMG’s proprietary transaction platform, CloudPay, will take care of end-user payments and subscription management.


Great move from Pro14 and increases revenue streams for everyone

Could this be the next step for the league and see a move away from traditional broadcasting formats? Could it also be expanded as a wider rugby service akin to RugbyPass and include other leagues and competitions?

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Post by BamBam on Tue May 14, 2019 3:56 pm

I don't really know what to think about this. It appears a good idea, but I assume its only available in countries without a TV deal, as I got a message saying Pro14 TV isn't available in my location. If the UK, Ireland, SA, Italy, USA, NZ, Australia etc all can't get it, who is it aimed at?

Doesn't seem like the best use of resources

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Post by Pete330v2 on Tue May 14, 2019 4:15 pm

It'll make it much easier for the illegal streaming sites to get a perfect feed, happy days.

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue May 14, 2019 4:17 pm

BamBam wrote:I don't really know what to think about this. It appears a good idea, but I assume its only available in countries without a TV deal, as I got a message saying Pro14 TV isn't available in my location. If the UK, Ireland, SA, Italy, USA, NZ, Australia etc all can't get it, who is it aimed at?

Doesn't seem like the best use of resources

Not many markets left, but easy to use VPN to get round geo blocking.

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Post by marty2086 on Tue May 14, 2019 4:23 pm

BamBam wrote:I don't really know what to think about this. It appears a good idea, but I assume its only available in countries without a TV deal, as I got a message saying Pro14 TV isn't available in my location. If the UK, Ireland, SA, Italy, USA, NZ, Australia etc all can't get it, who is it aimed at?

Doesn't seem like the best use of resources

I'm guessing there's demand there that makes it viable, it's why Im wondering if it's almost a pilot scheme to move all viewers to it in long term and cut out the middle man if the Premier Sports and other numbers have been encouraging for them

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Post by Kingshu on Tue May 14, 2019 9:11 pm

May be a good strategy, when TV contracts are up for renewal, it gives the PRO (16 by then) room to leverage a better deal.

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Post by neilthom7 on Tue May 14, 2019 9:45 pm

Its definitely a good idea to have something like this to fill gaps and also give them another option when contracts come up for renewal but we likely would not be looking at going online only in the UK and Ireland for some time.
Just looked at how it worked out for Eleven Sports with Serie A, UFC and La Liga.  Them being online only just didn't work and they ended up having the UFC deal cancelled and having to have La Liga and Serie A taken back and sold again in the end to Premier Sports and ITV
Great tool to have for down the road though.
I suspect the service could mostly be aimed at ex pats in countries that don't have a tv deal at the moment. In one specific country there probably isn't enough demand for a service but across the world there are quite a few Irish, Welsh, Scottish, Italian and South African immigrants who might want to watch.

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Post by marty2086 on Wed May 15, 2019 11:24 am

Eleven Sports went too big for their own good, they tried to outmuscle the likes of Sky who they then needed to carry the channel to fulfil their contracts with the likes of the UFC. Once that fell through they were screwed. With the likes of Premier, DAZN and RugbyPass the league should have data to work with in different markets

At £9.99 for Premier Sports, Pro14 are only seeing a fraction of that in their tv deal. If Pro14 were to create a service at that price point they'd see 100% although they'd have the costs too.

With more watching on smart tvs, boxes, phones and tablets non traditional viewing is on the increase but if the league did bring broadcasting in house they could also sell ads during games and those could be targeted to markets and individuals too similar to the likes of ITV do with their on demand services, that's a gold mine in itself.


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Post by LondonTiger on Wed May 15, 2019 12:01 pm

They would have to bring the highlights stuff (ie the free stuff) to the normal markets to serve as a taster and whet the appetite for watching live matches as ppv online.

The current plans will go to so few countries that really only expats in weird places (central Africa, Pakistan) will be using it.

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