Nagra analyzes the future of OTT live sports streaming

Nagra, a Kudelski Group company and a leading independent provider of content protection and multiscreen television solutions, believes that OTT live sports services will take off over the next years. However, the piracy ecosystem will continue to evolve so that companies must carry out joint actions against illegal streamers.
“OTT streaming infrastructures have drastically democratised how consumers access live sports content. And this is driving a rapid evolution in consumption habits and expectations,” explained Simon Trudelle, Senior Director Product Marketing at Nagra, in a blog post.
While the OTT sports subscription market remains modest, Tudelle believes that “it’s only a matter of time before OTT live sports streaming really takes off everywhere”.
“Global players like Amazon are noticing, having secured distribution rights for the English Premier League in the 2019/20 season. Operators and broadcasters are also making significant investments to get access to the distribution rights across platforms”, the executive added.
However, Trudelle indicated that this also opens the door to piracy. “We already know that piracy is no longer the low-rent offerings of years gone by – today ‘commercial piracy’ offers a high-quality, almost professional-grade experience at a low cost. And the piracy ecosystem will continue to evolve.”
According to the executive, the key to fighting it will be through content protection and anti-piracy technologies and services, including forensic watermarking to track the source of leaks and take action against illegal streamers.
“But it’s not just technology that will help to reconcile these problems. By being actively involved in organisations and standards in partnership with operators and technology vendors – as Hollywood studios have done with MovieLabs – sports rights owners can ensure everything possible is being done to protect their valuable assets.”
Trudelle pointed out that the access to live sports content “will only have a future if right holders, operators and distributors can work together to protect their value.”