Sky Sports acquire Diagonal View and look set to shake up the social media landscape

Last week, Sky announced that they had acquired Diagonal View, a social media content producer, probably best known for the production of the football YouTube channel, The Football Daily.

The move will see a leader in sports broadcasting link up with a leader in social media content production to create an exciting prospect for both companies as well as sports fans, too.

Within the digital space, sport is one of the supreme rulers. Social media is already saturated with sports content, from websites, channels and influencers who provide all sorts of coverage. From comment and analysis to news and ‘banter’, spending just five minutes on Twitter will already likely see you faced with too much content to consume for one day.

But this move from Sky and Diagonal view broadens the scope. The Football Daily has its own voice and its own place in the landscape, as does Sky’s own social media output, but the ability to bring rights to, most excitingly, flagship footballing competitions such as the Premier League and La Liga could dramatically shake up the space, allowing greater depth of coverage complete with rights to sporting highlights.

Over the past few years, the public’s appetite for sports chat seems to have increased exponentially. Beyond just live sport and highlights shows, magazine shows have always had to rely on owning the rights to some sort of highlights as well as getting interviews with key players to enrich their shows. But that’s changing: podcasts, various social media channels, and fan-led analysis and reaction are changing the face of how the public consumes sport, and they are all done without relying on rights to the action itself.

But perhaps that’s part of the charm.

Tuning in to listen to sports chat isn’t the same as tuning in to watch the game, or watch Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher discuss the various defensive errors of the weekend on Monday Night Football. Consumers, it seems, watch Sky Sports for one reason, but they go on social media to join in the conversation for a different one.

That’s a fact not lost on David Gibbs, Director – Digital, Sky Sports, who says that Sky’s approach to how they use these channels will be considered and nuanced.

“The Football Daily Channel has been incredibly successful and we will be careful not to alter the tone and feel and effect what’s made it so popular with fans,” Gibbs told us. “Where we think it’s appropriate we will use existing Sky Sports content and talent. We have some exciting plans around new channels and formats.”

Bringing Sky’s prestige, power and, crucially, their rights to some very popular content could change the face of the space, and it will be interesting to see how this acquisition plays out, especially over the summer as Sky gears up to The Open Championship coverage, and for the start to next season’s Premier League kick-off: by then, the partnership should be in full swing.

With so much content out there online, the discerning fan will have to become even more careful to pick out the right kind of content out there. Sky entering the arena to a greater degree – albeit through an already-established platform – but channels like The Football Daily won’t be changed to too large a degree. “We understand that sports fans have more choice than ever before, and we are keen to make sure that we continue to serve those fans on platforms and channels that are important to them,” said Gibbs.

It sounds like fans of the channel don’t need to worry about too much change to what they know and love – but the addition of Sky’s heft to the social media content landscape looks sure to add a new dimension to the entire space.

About author

Chris McMullan
Chris McMullan 193 posts

Chris is a sports journalist and a regular contributor to Digital Sport - follow him on Twitter @CJMcMullan91

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