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SBD Global/October 16, 2013/Media

Sportel: Explosion Of Digital Era Opens News Avenues For Media-Rights Sellers

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MP & Silva Head of Production & Digital Sameer Pabari told SBD Global the challenge for media-rights sellers is finding a way to bundle the growing digital possibilities “into coherent customer propositions,” even though it is “fun and exciting.” The media-rights company works hard to find the right digital solutions for its clients in order to provide them with a maximum return. Asked about the challenges at Sportel Monaco on Tuesday, Pabari said, “I wouldn’t say that there are any difficulties. It’s a rapidly evolving space. You look at consumer behavior and consumer engagement. There is more and more activity on digital, when you look at the proliferation of different screens and formats that are out there. That’s the way in which the world is moving. And as an agency representing rights and content on behalf of different federations and rights holders, it’s our challenge to help maximize the value of those rights. And actually that means mirroring where audiences and consumers are going to be.” Whereas in the world of TV this task was quite standardized and consistent, the rapid explosion of digital technology makes it more unpredictable. However, Pabari sees a lot of potential in this unpredictability. He said, “There are lots of new and interesting things that we can do with digital technology. We explore a lot of different avenues in terms of how you can possibly [maximize the value rights]. It could be, for example, providing additional content on a second screen, which could either be on a sponsored basis or a paid-for basis that is completely distinct from what is appearing on the traditional broadcast.” Pabari added that for certain sports, which don’t have TV broadcast deals in particular territories, digital technology provides them with a tool to go directly to consumers. He said, “All of a sudden, new markets, which historically may not have been interested in TV rights, you can actually start approaching and delivering content.”

ADDED BONUS: Besides helping its clients finding new ways to capitalize on digital technologies, MP & Silva is offering strategic support for media productions. Pabari: “In certain circumstances, we are actually having a role in the production to help determine what the final audio-visual product is for broadcast sales purposes or broadcast-sponsorship purposes or exploiting content on different devices and screens.” Having a strategic role in helping to define how the end product should look does not necessarily mean that MP & Silva always ends up doing the production itself, Pabari added. This added bonus for clients is, of course, also targeted at maximizing the value of the rights holder’s property. However, MP & Silva is also using it as a tool to establish long-term partnerships. Pabari: “The way we like to work with our rights-holder clients is very tight because that’s what ultimately leads to long-lasting commercial relationships.”
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