Uefa developing own OTT streaming service

Marketing chief says European body want platform to shine light on women’s soccer.

Uefa developing own OTT streaming service

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Uefa’s marketing director Guy-Laurent Epstein has revealed that European soccer’s governing body is planning to launch its own over-the-top (OTT) streaming service.

Speaking to Spanish outlet Palco23, Epstein revealed that the new platform will give more airtime to categories which do not benefit from as much exposure as men’s soccer, such as the women’s game and futsal.

Epstein added that Uefa’s flagship club competitions the Champions League and Europa League will remain in the hands of major broadcasters which account for much of the governing body’s revenue.

"Let's create our own OTT [platform] to complement pay-TV,” said Epstein. “It is not ready yet, but we are building our own OTT platform to really go beyond the current content.”

"We do not want to compete with TV channels, but to take advantage of the wide range of content we have, such as summaries, delayed games, backstage pictures and futsal, women's and grassroots competitions, whose broadcasts generally do not have the same visibility as the men's tournaments. In addition, it would serve to help the 55 federations that are part of Uefa to increase their visibility.”

Despite not wanting to take live coverage away from traditional broadcasters, Epstein added that the new platform could be used to house additional programming and features in order to communicate with fans who might not be able to watch games on pay-TV.

"The current evolution of our environment tells us that digital platforms are a new place to talk with fans outside the TV viewers, so that the Champions League is not losing popularity because of the migration of broadcasts to pay-TV."

Epstein also pointed to the fact that an in-house streaming platform would open up a new revenue stream for Uefa, creating an additional opportunity for brands interested in attaching their name to the organisation’s competitions.