‘Watershed’ moment for sports streaming in pubs

By Stuart Stone

- Last updated on GMT

More games: Screach and Premier Sports will deliver 150 incremental live fixtures that don’t clash with the Premier League.
More games: Screach and Premier Sports will deliver 150 incremental live fixtures that don’t clash with the Premier League.

Related tags Pubs Sport

Tech company Screach has teamed up with broadcaster Premier Sports to offer pubs low-cost access to live sport – a move it claims is a UK first.

Screach and Premier Sports, the owner of rights to more than 1,500 sporting events – including top-flight football in both Spain and Italy – have joined forces to stream live sport in pubs under what it claims are more flexible commercial terms than those offered by broadcast giants – including lower subscription costs and shorter contracts.

Through Screach’s technology, pubs will be able to showcase league fixtures featuring Juventus’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi after Premier Sports acquired La Liga and Serie A rights from ITV4 and Eleven Sports​ respectively. 

It is estimated the deal will deliver pubs 150 incremental live matches that don’t clash with Premier League fixtures.

The cloud-based platform – which allows venues to live stream HD broadcasts and create bespoke, audience-specific adverts on existing screens via cable internet connections and Screach’s smartbox – is already in thousands of venues across the UK, including all Marston’s pubs as well as sites operated by smaller chains including the Phoenix Pub Group.

The announcement follows the reveal of Amazon’s first seasonal schedule of Premier League fixtures​ after the web-giant acquired exclusive rights to 20 Premier League matches in every season up to and including the 2021-22 season.

Fixtures – including the Merseyside derby and Manchester United v Tottenham – will be available via the Amazon Premier League Pass​, though the cost of subscription is yet to be confirmed. 

As reported by The Morning Advertiser ​(MA​), 32 more Premier League fixtures will be broadcast live over the course of next season, with 128 to be shown by Sky Sports, 52 by BT Sport and 20 by Amazon following the most recent rights auction​.

Pricing plan

Screach CEO Robert Rawlinson told MA ​Premier Sport content will be available via the platform as of 1 November.

He explained that a 90-day minimum agreement with Screach to show Premier Sport events would become a 30-day rolling contract costing £249 per month – with discounts available by committing to a longer time-frame or signing up multiple venues.

What’s more, Rawlinson told MA​ the company would remove its £349 installation fee for customers signing up for 12 months.

More partnerships in the pipeline

“We are delighted to be working with Premier Sports to launch the first-ever enterprise-grade streaming service to UK pubs,” Rawlinson commented.

“Showing live sport has long been an effective way for pubs to drive footfall and increase revenues, but the increasing fragmentation of sports rights has driven up complexity and cost – inflating subscription costs by around 17% in the past three years alone.

“Screach’s vision is to help pubs by giving them an integrated live streaming and venue marketing platform, delivering an ever-increasing range of live sports events from multiple providers, as well as a powerful marketing tool that gives pubs payback for their investment.

“Our innovative partnership with Premier Sports delivers their content via streaming, with only a 90-day minimum period. This offers existing sports pubs more flexibility while giving those that don’t currently show live sport a highly cost-effective way to show live sports to draw in more customers, without a long-term commitment.

"This is a fresh approach in the way that pubs harness the power of live sports and get a return on their investment.”

Rawlinson told MA ​Screach is in discussions with eight sports rights holders to broaden its streaming offer to pubs.

“We’re currently in advanced discussions with other contents rights holders, which should soon see Screach announce more partnerships to bring more streamed live sports to pubs with flexible commercial terms.”

Value-adding proposition

Alongside Spain’s La Liga and Italy’s Serie A, Premier Sports will be able to beam live Scottish cup football, America’s MLS soccer league and all 152 matches a season of the Guinness PRO14 rugby tournament under its partnership with Screach.

“We’re determined to offer commercial premises an innovative, flexible way to show our live sports in their venues,” Premier Sports CEO Richard Sweeney added.

“Screach not only offers us and our customers a live streaming solution, but also one that helps them market live events effectively to assist the payback on the cost, increasing our customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.

“We look forward to working with Screach to continue to offer pubs a value-adding proposition as well as show existing and new content rights partners of ours how commercial premises streaming offers market growth opportunities.”

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