Warner Bros Discovery Sports president: Single-sport OTT platforms can survive

  • The success of the GCN+ bike streaming product underscores the demand for a single sports platform, Georgiou said.
  • WBD and the PGA Tour have moved GolfTV to Discovery+ to provide “more oxygen, more life” content.

Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) president and CEO of sports in Europe Andrew Georgiou points out that despite the increasing consolidation of dedicated services, there is still room for over-the-top (OTT) platforms in the streaming market.

Keep talking SportsPro OTT Summit In Madrid, Georgiou highlighted the success of WBD-owned Global Cycling Network (GCN) and its GCN+ service as examples of how subscription streaming products for single sports can work in the increasingly crowded and competitive OTT market.

He is credited with creating a platform that has been successful in cultivating a passionate audience for almost a decade, even though he was initially not eligible for cycling.

“I think the onus is still on for products to give superfans a richer experience,” Georgiou said. “I think that’s exactly what GCN does as one of our portfolio companies. The experience you get when you’re at GCN, and seeing GCN+ as a product, is a very rich cycling experience. You have to be a die-hard cycling fan to enjoy that experience. should.”

In recent years, streaming services dedicated to single sports have proliferated, but some have closed down altogether or merged into multiple genres.

While Georgiou sees it as a stand-alone sports service provider, he also discussed the value of integrating WBD’s broader sports offerings with its Discovery+ and HBO Max OTT platforms, as well as other entertainment and programming.

“It could be a cooking show, a travel show, Dragon House or CNN on that platform, so it gives you a reason to go there in addition to watching the Tour de France and the Giro d’ once a year. Italy,” Georgiou said. “You know the more compelling reasons you have to bring a casual fan to your product, the better.”

Georgiou also discussed the reasoning behind this recent decision Close the GolfTV OTT platform. Discovery+, as well as Eurosport’s digital platforms, will be able to stream the PGA Tour live and provide direct-to-consumer (DTC) services.

Georgiou talks about the company’s challenges growing GolfTV, compares its growth to that of GCN+, and explains why it made the decision to move golf rights to WBD’s broadcast product.

“We made this decision [moving golf to Discovery+] It was more profitable for us as a business, and it was better for the PGA Tour than putting those rights on a stand-alone product,” Georgiou added. “Again, you have to be a golf fan, because there was nothing but golf out there.

β€œIt was more for us and more for them. [The PGA Tour] We agree that giving this content more oxygen and more life on a wider platform was the right thing to do.”

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