Media Spotlight is a weekly look each Tuesday focused on the world of sports media here in Ireland and further afield.

We will bring together news, analysis, interviews and other content looking to deliver a better understanding of how the sports media works and how it is in an ever-changing state of flux.

We will also highlight a different podcast each week which we think you might enjoy.

*******

OTT Service for Heineken Champions Cup

European Professional Club Rugby which runs the Heineken Champions Cup and European Rugby Challenge Cup has launched a new OTT streaming platform at epcrugby.tv which will bring games on a pay as you go basis to countries where there is no existing broadcast partnership.

Powered by leading agency, StreamAMG, the direct-to-consumer service started with last weekend’s 2019/20 quarter-finals. 

Matches can be purchased individually (€1.99 Challenge Cup, €2.99 Heineken Champions Cup) or as a package for the remainder of the season which will conclude on the weekend of 16/17/18 October.

“This OTT platform is another sign of our digital evolution,” said EPCR Chief Executive, Vincent Gaillard. “Broadcast platforms for EPCR tournaments have been enriched and optimised by a strong balance of linear and OTT platforms in different territories and epcrugby.tv now gives fans the chance to see the games in markets where they previously didn’t have that chance.”

 

*******

Dip in Numbers for Opening Weekend of NFL

America’s return to sport is being done with a mix of behind closed doors and limited numbers of fans depending on each state.  The reduction in live in-person visibility and a previous drought of action prompted record highs on viewing figures for soccer across Europe and the UK when it returned over the summer but the same has not been true across the Atlantic.

An average national audience of 18.94 million tuned into the Dallas Cowboys against the Los Angeles Rams in the opening Sunday night fixture shown by NBC. That represents a 15 per cent dip on last year though the opening weekend did have to contend with competition for sports fans from the NBA Playoffs that would normally be long finished by this stage.

Week two may be better with the early numbers from the NFL’s own streaming service up three per cent to 7.2 million viewers for the Cleveland Browns win over the Cincinatti Bengals last Thursday.

 

*******

PODCAST OF THE WEEK

The 20×20 Campaign has produced a 24 minute podcast this week to mark the launch of the final phase of the campaign.

Cliona O’Leary, Elaine Buckley, Mary O’Connor and Ryle Nugent are among those who speak to the differences that have occurred in the way in which Women’s sport is viewed by different groups.

The podcast is part of an overall social media and digital campaign based around the final hashtag of #ThinkItAskIt.

Listen to the 20×20 Podcast

 *******