Digital Sport Trends 2018: The opportunities for digital in the new year

This week at Digital Sport, we’re ringing in the new year and looking forward to what 2018 will bring at the crossroads of digital media and sport.

In order to do that, we’ve launched our #DSTrends2018 document, which you can download here. The report essentially rounds up the highlights of 2017 and looks ahead to the opportunities and the threats that 2018 will bring, as told by some of Dan McLaren’s guests on the Digital Sport Insider podcast over the last year.

Featuring plenty of people from diverse sectors of the industry, it’s a rich mix of views from across the spectrum, featuring representatives of teams, leagues, rights holders, publishers and plenty of others. But despite the diversity of appeal, there were also some trends to observe in the answers.

It will be interesting to see if 2018 pans out as the participants think, but it’s also clear that some of the biggest buzzes of 2017 will still be active in the new year, if not growing into something unrecognisable and revolutionary.

Here, we’ve compiled some of the key themes and strands to have come out of the responses, looking at the opportunities that 2018 will bring to digital media in sport.


The first thing that jumps out of the opportunities section is the number of people citing esports as a big opportunity for the new year, and in many different ways, too.

Some have noted the growth of the sector over the past few years, and how that doesn’t look like stopping. Others have been impressed by the potential of participation in esports, and, presumably, how its grassroots appeal stands it in good stead for the future.

In a fast-moving sector where changes happen almost daily, it’s also important for those in digital to make sure they understand what younger audiences are tuning into, and perhaps that’s another reason many will be paying attention to esports over the coming year.

The second main theme seems to have been the potential opportunities that live-streaming platforms – particularly on social media – offer to sport.

Over the last year or so, Facebook and Twitter have attempted to grab rights to live sport, whilst Amazon, too, is fast becoming a big player in media rights bidding.

Interesting, too, is the rise of digital content around sport. The likes of podcasts and fan channels have shown the potential for this, but with live-streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon and even Facebook getting involved with creating sporting documentaries in 2017 and launching new ones in 2018, it’s clear that these new kids on the block are only going to get more involved in the sporting content ecosystem one way or another.

If you’d like to find out more from the report then click on the link below to download your own copy of it…

2018 Digital Sport Trends Report

About author

Chris McMullan
Chris McMullan 425 posts

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

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