SBJ/Oct. 28-Nov. 3, 2013/People and Pop Culture

Sandy Brown, president and CEO, One World Sports

Sandy Brown was in London earlier this month, reflecting on the Sportel conference that had just ended in Monaco. The market for international sports programming is as vibrant as it’s ever been, and that’s good news for Brown, CEO and president of One World Sports. The outlet launched in the United States as a channel for Asian ex-pats about two years ago, but Brown relaunched the channel in August as more of an international sports destination. He reflects here on the market for independent channels and on how One World Sports can make its mark.
— By John Ourand


People should have access to content wherever they are. Content providers want to be able to have access to those eyeballs. Distributors want to be able to provide customers that kind of access because it gives them another avenue to charge more money.



On the market for independent channels:
It is difficult. Distributors are looking for content that is relevant and compelling. Unless a channel is able to provide content where a distributor feels that they can make some money, they are going to have a very tough row to hoe.
 
On competing for live sports: There is a lot of content out there that has not received exposure in high definition and with the kind of production values that are necessary to compete in the U.S. market. As part of One World Sports’ programming mix, we are able to provide a home for some content, like table tennis, which we feel there’s a market for.
 
The role of live sports: Live sports are absolutely critical. It creates a call to action for a consumer to watch or to pay for content. We carry 2,500 to 2,600 hours of live content and will continue to increase that. Shoulder programming provides a lot of context, but the more live programming that we’re able to offer, the more successful we’ll be.
 
Media 10 years from now: There’s always going to be a role for linear. One of the problems right now is that you don’t have the user experience on mobile that you really should have. I’m hopeful that people will be able to have the same digital experience that they do on a linear basis.
 
Why relaunch?: We identified our target audience; we skew 18-34. We needed to be in HD and needed to have production values that would allow us to compete with our peer group. We needed more content out of Europe and … Latin America in order to provide a more well-rounded service. Lastly, it was important that we had rights that allowed us to be available to multiple platforms.

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