Amazon and Netflix force France’s top broadcasters to pool resources – what does it mean for sport?

Delivering what audiences are yearning for is the big question for traditional broadcasters in this digital age. More and more, we’re seeing that there’s a strategy coming into place: the big names appear to be minded to combine their resources to create on-demand powerhouses to put growing threat from Amazon and Netflix to rest.

An alliance between three of France’s top broadcasters – France Televisions, M6 and TF1 – is said to be in the works in order to keep pace with their consumers’ varying viewing habits. SALTO, as it is reported to be called, will not only offer a wide variety of the best live and catch-up TV programess but will also offer exclusive content such as content on news bulletins, sport, documentaries, etc.

If it sounds like a radical move, maybe it shouldn’t: last month, it was reported that some of Britiain’s biggest broadcasters are looking to do something very similar. The BBC, Channel 4 and ITV are in discussions about joining forces, setting aside decades of rivalry, in order to combat the on-demand platforms that are sweeping the nation.

In today’s digitally driven society, it seems as though broadcasters don’t have the option to just overlook these competitors who are quickly beginning to enter their territory. In the sports industry, Sky Sports and BT Sport are no longer the only broadcasters’ consumers look to. Much to their fear, Amazon Prime has recently picked up Premier League football rights: they now have access to 20 live games to show on their platform while also providing consumers with other outlets in entertainment, films, and documentaries. Continuing to cover all their bases, Amazon have also recently closed a five-year deal to cover the US Open tennis tournament, providing Prime subscribers with access to now three of the four grand slams.

To no-one’s surprise, Amazon isn’t stopping in just the UK market, it just recently renewed its contract with the NFL in the US for $65 million per year to continue to stream two more seasons of Thursday night games on Prime Video.

The future of digital media is at the moment still uncertain. ‘Online streaming’ is quickly becoming the forefront of digital media with no plans of slowing down, but the top broadcasters will clearly react.

While Amazon is a main concern for many, other digital platforms such as Netflix and Hulu are rising above to join the races. If big name European broadcasters don’t begin to make changes, it’ll only be a matter of time before traditional broadcasting becomes a topic of the “good ol’ days”.

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