Sport

The Premier League streaming ban is why we need a Netflix for sport

By Oliver Smith 9 March 2017
Summary

Until we have an affordable streaming service for sport, piracy is here to stay.

This morning the Premier League secured a court order to shut down one of the most popular ways of illegally streaming football matches.

Kodi is the hugely popular streaming app in question, which lets you access movies, TV shows and premium sports without having to pay.

The Premier League has called this a victory against piracy, and encouraged sports fans instead to get a Sky Sports or BT Sport subscription.

But asking people to pay for a subscription that’s going to cost you at least £34 a month, and won’t even get you all the matches (you need both Sky and BT to see them all), is madness.

Netflix Buffering

Why we need a Netflix for sport

Music piracy ran rampant before iTunes dropped the price of a single to 99p and Spotify introduced ad-supported streaming.

Movie piracy thrived throughout the 2000s, until Netflix pioneered the model of a £6 subscription for unlimited movie and TV streaming.

While Sky has introduced a £34 a month sport streaming service, that’s still triple or quadruple the price of Spotify or Netflix and more than most people’s mobile bill.

Just like music fans and movie fans, sports fans want to pay to watch the teams they love, but at a fair price.

If the Premier League really wants to reduce piracy it’s got to encourage the creation of affordable sports streaming services.

In fact that’s what it’s already been doing abroad…

Meet DAZN

You might remember DAZN, the Netflix for sport, which we profiled last year.

For €9.99 a month DAZN has seen huge success in bringing unlimited streaming of sport to countries like Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Japan, where it streams Premier League matches.

Simon Denyer, the CEO of DAZN’s parent company Perform Group, told The Memo that he’d love to bring the service to the UK, but that the cost of securing rights like those of the Premier League are just too high.

“The UK and every major developed economy is in our plan, we’re just prioritising countries right now based on where we think the cost of entry and the level of success are the lowest and the highest.”

Time and time again we’ve seen that people are willing to pay for content, for the right price.

If the Premier League doesn’t shape up its act by helping to launch an affordable Netflix for sport in the UK, it shouldn’t be surprised that millions of Brits still watch Saturday night football from a dodgy streaming site on their laptop.