Benfica launch innovative OTT platform

Benfica has become the first club in Portugal and one of the first in the world to launch a digital video platform featuring exclusive content produced daily for its fans. The over-the-top (OTT) platform, called Benfica Play, was launched at the Stadium of Light in Lisbon on Thursday with Benfica CEO Domingos Soares de Oliveira calling it an “innovative project which will bring fans closer to the team than ever before.” 

Benfica Play will feature content ranging from exclusive one-to-one interviews with former and current stars, footage from the dressing room, behind-the-scenes video from matches and training sessions and much more. The club has hired a dedicated digital video team following the first team and producing exclusive content 365 days per year. 

 In order to access the platform, club members will pay €1.99 per month while the general public will pay €2.99 per month. Benfica Play, which becomes a key pillar in the club’s digital strategy, will be available on the web (www.benficaplay.pt) or via application on android and iOS stores. The objective of the platform is to bring fans closer to the action and to monetise exclusive content produced by the club. 

“Benfica Play is a digital platform that will give our fans exclusive access to content they have never seen before and will take them closer to the action than they have ever been in the past. We have hundreds of thousands of fans outside of Portugal and this will be a key platform to engage with them and offer them an opportunity to feel closer to their idols. We have established a business plan for this project, which is an investment done by Benfica on its own, and the target is to reach several hundreds of thousands of subscribers, which is similar to what we have been able to achieve with our TV channel.” 

The OTT platform went live earlier on Thursday and will publish the first piece of premium content at 21:00 local time. It is an exclusive interview with Brazilian striker Vinicius, who has scored 15 goals in 21 games this season. 

In the coming weeks, more exclusive interviews will be streamed, including one-to-one conversations with former Benfica academy stars João Felix, Bernardo Silva, Gonçalo Guedes and others. 

The Benfica Play platform joins Benfica TV as content channels the club currently owns or co-owns. Later this year Benfica is also expected to launch a digital radio station. 

Insys Video Tecnhologies was the technology partner for this project. The plish company assisted in the construction and implementation of this platform. 

Digital Sport is hosting an OTT event!

OTT and live streaming in sport continues to rise. From new broadcasters springing up to challenge the status quo to rights holders going it alone and bringing their content direct to consumer, streaming is becoming something of the new normal.

Christmas 2019 saw Amazon Prime add Premier League fixture streaming to their tennis deals, producing coverage of football for the first time. This just goes to show how much OTT is starting to integrate itself into mainstream sport.

At our last OTT event we talked about the opportunities for broadcasters at Digital Sport London. This time around, we’ll be talking about where we go from here. What are the specific opportunities that OTT brings to sport? Should rights holders be attempting to muscle in on this new trend, or should we consider that bandwagon jumping? Are we perhaps thinking about it too much, as maybe this is just a short-term trend that won’t truly kick off? We’ll even talk about the opportunities for minority sports to go direct to consumer and not have to worry about linear broadcasters finding a slot in the schedule to run their highlights.

DATE, PANELLISTS & VENUE TBC

This event is currently listed for mid-March but this date could yet change. To register your interest for the event please email our editor at james@digitalsport.co who will keep you updated with the latest updates on the event, and don’t forget to sign-up to our newsletter for more information and all the latest in Digital Sport.

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