Paid streaming considered for local sports
With fans not expected to attend local sporting events any time soon because of COVID-19, Island Sports Network co-founder Brandon Carvalho believes that there is an opportunity for live pay-per-view streaming to recoup revenue missed from gate receipts.
Local sports have made or are making plans to return after months of inactivity caused by the virus. With the recent staging of the All Comers Track and Field meet and prospective proposals for the next Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) football season, Carvalho says that there is a local demand to purchase live content.
"Paying for live sports now is probably the best time because with no fans in attendance, I feel like that's the only avenue people will be able to watch or support their favourite team or their personal team from school or what have you. So I think that this is the perfect time," Carvalho told STAR Sports.
While he believes that the demand is present, Carvalho warns that there will be a greater emphasis on production and quality of the broadcast to attract customers and sponsors.
"If it's [a] one camera, two camera production, from our experience people do not want to pay for that," he said. "People like to pay for premium content and premium content will usually entail maybe five or six cameras [like] what you would see on TV. So it will be a tough sell if it's a one or two camera [production]."
Cavalier FC technical director Rudolph Speid says that while they are focusing on getting games on free-to-air television to attract partners and gain revenue, the live streaming model is being considered.
"I don't know if our market is ready for that, but it is definitely something that we are looking at," he said. "If the public is going to see it and the sponsors [are going] to be enticed about sponsoring us, clearly we have to have the game on television.
"All of those will have to be taken into consideration, how much we would be able to get from sponsors. Otherwise pay-per-view will become more important if we have to earn money from that revenue source."
Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association president Dr Warren Blake said that meet directors would also be looking into the model after the All Comers meet was streamed live on Facebook.
"I know at some point in time they are looking at trying to improve the quality of the streaming and also see if some cost recovery can take place," he said.