Digital Disruption or Digital Enhancement? – How Amazon are Changing the Broadcasting of Live Football

In previous blogs I have discussed how the rise of new mediums may or may not have caused the decline of radio and the convergence culture in media content surrounding Premier League football, this blog questions the notion of digital disruption in the broadcasting of live football, and suggests maybe digitisation has enhanced the way we consume live football, with a focus on Amazon’s entry into the market and their use of different techniques.

Hutchins and Rowe explained the media landscape has been substantially reconfigured by the rise and dissemination of digital networked communications technologies, in particular the development of the internet and World Wide Web (WWW), with wide-ranging ramifications for conventional media divisions. The traditional media involved a scarcity of channels that could product and distribute quality content, before the digital era, we as consumers were only able to consume live football through radio commentary or watching live on a TV broadcast, digitisation disrupted this by lowering entry barriers and provided a plentitude of distribution channels that galvanised the way the population consume sport. Delfanti and Arvidsson explain how the often one-dimensional traditional media channels have been disrupted by the presence of a convergent media experience that the process of digitisation has introduced into the sport media ecology.

We are now seeing decentralised, omni-channel techniques for consuming sport as perfectly illustrated by Amazon’s entry into the market. Seen below is an image from Amazon Prime showing a new way to consume sport, due to the digital nature of Amazon, multiple fixtures are able to be broadcasted at the same time, this allows for an increase in users at any given time throughout the match week, providing Amazon with the foundations to increase their presence in the market by increasing the number of games. What makes Amazon unique compared to their main broadcasting rivals, Sky Sports and BT Sport, is that Amazon Prime is completely digital, consumers are able to watch Premier League fixtures through various means (tablet, smartphone, console, PC, fire stick)

Amazon Prime coverage of Premier League fixtures 3-5 December and 26-27 December.

The notion that the evolution of technology has disrupted the sport media ecology is questionable, it is important to consider the perspective at which one takes idea. Digital may have disrupted the traditional techniques of broadcasting live football, however , broadcasting companies have adapted to the technological advancement and been involved in the convergence culture of the present sport media ecology, and along with these advancements and the introduction of multi-channel experiences, the general consumer is receiving a more convenient, easily accessible product that will be constantly improved to meet the customer needs and wants.

As always, feel free to get in touch via Twitter, and let me know in the comments, what do you think the future of consuming live football will look like?


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