TV or Streaming? The Sport’s (new) Dilemma

TV is a big part of a league’s or team’s incomes, as well as a necessary platform to bring games and content to fans; this has been the system that has a whole industry running, but, is it time to change?

Mexican soccer team Chivas is betting on it, and past May 20th their President and Owner announced that they were no longer signing a contract with Mexican media giant Televisa, and so far, the plan seems to migrate to a streaming service produced by the team itself called Chivas TV. The model intends to replicate what Manchester United, FC Barcelona or MLB TV have developed, however this might be just the first service fully based on the Internet without the support of an actual TV transmission (and the incomes it generates).

Business-wise, the managers themselves have accepted that the institution will suffer financially with this new model since the Guadalajara-based team had the best-payed TV contract in the Liga MX with a reported deal of over $30 million dollars per year. In this league, every team negotiates its own TV rights, but when a country basically has only two private broadcasters (Televisa and TV Azteca) it leads mediation to a dead-end. Back in August 2014, Pachuca challenged the power of these companies by signing the first Cable TV deal of any Liga MX team with Fox Sports.

chivas

So once again, looking towards streaming sounds like a logical step that is becoming a worldwide trend. Deloitte Consulting Firm released its report on U.S. consumers’ preferences just to determine that viewership is more inclined to watch Internet streaming content just like Netflix instead of watching Live TV, with over 42% of Americans using video streaming and 56% of them adopting it as their preferred method of viewership.

The story is different in Mexico, and although it is true that Internet access now reaches over 50 million Mexicans, there are at least another 60 million people who are not online and therefore would struggle to watch the soccer matches in a country where over 97% households own a TV.

Meanwhile, the team expects to serve over 25 million viewers and is still working on developing plans and prices, as well as gathering personnel to broadcast the games in this new project that could force a nation to change the way they watch their favorite sport.