Will the New Sportall Platform Revolutionise the Distribution of Sport in France?

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Sportall platform will deliver sports in France

MEDIA: Launched in November, Sportall is positioned as an innovative means of production and distribution for sports with little media coverage

  • Today, zoom on Sportall, a new online video platform that allows you to watch sports competitions via a mobile application.
  • Involved from the production of images to broadcasting, it targets sports with little or no media coverage. For the moment…

What if a sports Netflix made in France had just seen the light of day? The question is caricatured as much as it is premature (or the reverse), but the general idea of ​​Sportall is there. Launched at the end of November, Sportall is an online video platform that allows sports competitions to be watched via a mobile application. Free for the vast majority of the content, then eventually by subscription, according to very specific themes. For now, it targets disciplines little or not broadcast on television, before, perhaps one day, going to see above.

The idea for this OTT platform came from a threefold observation: “Technological progress allows a new way of filming and seeing sport; consumption patterns have evolved, with users mostly on their smartphone or tablet and less and less in front of their TV; and many sports have no value for the television channels, while they have some for the fans, ”says the co-founder and CEO of the start-up, Thierry Boudard.

“We are not just a broadcaster”

The latter, present in the video business on the Internet for twenty years and a great sports enthusiast, had a click in 2019, while following a regatta aboard a zodiac. “I had to take pictures with a drone. The rendering was great, with extremely light means, he says. Then we sent them on the networks and we made a million views. I told myself that there was something to do. It jumped out at me! ”

He then embarked on the design of his project. The presence in this same niche of the development of the “small” sports of the Sport channel in France, launched by the CNOSF and Media365 in May 2019, is not a problem. It offers rights holders (clubs, Leagues, Federations, event organizers) something different. More complete. “We are not just a broadcaster, we are an end-to-end platform, insists Thierry Boudard. We can produce content, provide good quality and affordable means of capture and train rights holders to use them, help them enhance their images, etc. We take care of everything. ”

A nice shot on the Vendée Globe

It works on the principle of a partnership, roughly “images against expertise”. Sportall and the rights holders then share the revenue generated, mainly advertising for now. The concept has attracted some forty entities, in various disciplines such as boxing, MMA, climbing, canoeing or sailing. Sportall has also signed its first big blow with the Vendée Globe, by offering the big start live.

The user could switch from one boat to another in one click thanks to on-board cameras. “We have proven that we can manage several live streams within the same sporting event, and without the platform crashing, relishes the CEO. It allowed us to show everyone what we knew how to do. ”

A few days ago, Sportall took it up a notch by offering its first paid offer. The platform hosts “Fight Nation”, the new media dedicated to combat sports launched by the short-lived president of the National Professional Boxing League Arnaud Romera and associates. The subscription costs 30 euros per year. This is where the project is heading, and how it differs from DAZN, the English streaming platform presented (we come back to it) as the Netflix of sports.

“We will not make an offer of 10 euros per month until we have plenty of content. Our application is free, with a maximum of content, and only on top of that we will have premium offers to which the fan can subscribe, explains Thierry Boudard. Better to spend 30 euros per year to have access to the sports we love, than 10 per month for a catalog where everything does not please us. ”

Soon handball, basketball, volleyball or gymnastics?

“Sportall occupies a place which was to be taken,” observes Arnaud Simon, president of the company In & Out Stories, which supports rights holders in their distribution strategy. It is an open, flexible space, adapted to new consumption patterns. It responds to an emergency because many sports, reluctantly released from classic TV models, are looking for ways to remain visible to their fans. It is extremely relevant. “The timing is right, too, with the prospect of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

For the former boss of Eurosport, we must give this platform time to settle, “before moving on to the next steps, namely attracting sports with an even larger fan base and thinking about the development at the international “. The process is already underway. Sportall, which employs a dozen people and which welcomed in January the former CEO of RMC Sport François Pesenti, talks today with the leagues of gymnastics, handball, basketball or volleyball.

“We can also be an opportunity for established sports, which have their place on TV but want to reinvent themselves a little”, imagines Thierry Boudard, who cites as an example the inside  images produced by football clubs. “They have great value and could be better exploited,” he says. The CEO is not lacking in ambition for his baby.

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