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Discovery+ and UFC take top prizes at SportsPro OTT Awards

Big night for Warner Bros Discovery as it picks up gold prizes in three categories.

1 December 2022 Josh Sim
  • NBC Sports president of programming Jon Miller among first four Hall of Fame inductees
  • Amazon’s Marie Donoghue wins Executive of the Year

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Warner Bros Discovery both won the prestigious gold prizes in their respective Platform of the Year categories at SportsPro’s 2022 OTT Awards.

Warner Bros Discovery had plenty to celebrate, as it picked up four prizes, including the prestigious Platform of the Year in the network category for its Discovery+ streaming service. The media giant also won gold in the Best Social Media Strategy and Best Digital First Production categories, as well as bronze in the Innovation of the Year award. Its coverage of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in particular drew praise, with the judges calling Discovery ‘a master of its trade’, and hailing the work behind its Olympics coverage.

UFC’s Fight Pass over-the-top (OTT) platform earned the top award in the direct-to-consumer (DTC) category. The judging panel described the UFC’s offering ‘a very successful product’ overall and stated it had every key characteristic needed to be a deserved winner.

The Tennis Channel International service, a joint entry from the Tennis Channel and Sportradar, got the silver award while the United Rugby Championship’s (URC) URC TV OTT platform placed third.

Norwegian-based streaming specialist Ease Live also won a hat-trick of gold awards, picking up Best in Fan Engagement, Best User Experience and for Best New Platform for its work on the YES Network App. The judges praised the platform’s user experience, blend of live content and ‘innovative’ interactive features.

Marie Donoghue, the vice president of global sports video at Amazon, was named Executive of the Year award for building and overseeing the technology giant’s vast sports rights portfolio. The Prime Video streaming service is currently in its first season of its the exclusive US$1 billion-per-season deal to broadcast the National Football League’s (NFL) Thursday night games. It also has a package of Premier League matches in the UK and is the main domestic broadcast partner for French soccer’s top-flight Ligue 1.

There were also four inductees into the SportsPro OTT Awards Hall of Fame. Jon Miller, NBC Sports president of programming, was inducted alongside Carol Stiff, a former vice president at ESPN for women’s sports programming and acquisitions. The inaugural inductees also included Timo Lumme, the retiring managing director for the IOC’s television and marketing services, and Barbara Slater, the BBC’s director of sports.

Other award winners on the night include:

  • Best Tech Company – Deltatre
  • Innovation of the Year – Mediapro
  • Tech Solution of the Year – DAZN with Google Ad Manager
  • Best Start Up Tech Company – RAMP by Griip
  • Best Original Content – WING
  • Best Marketing Strategy – WePlay
  • Best in Anti-Piracy – LaLiga Tech
  • Best Emerging Tech Company – Magnifi by Videoverse

This year’s event took place after day two of the 2022 SportsPro OTT Summit, at the Green Patio in Madrid, with more insightful content from the event at the Melia Castilla on 1st December.

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