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Why Sports Bars Need OTT Sports Programming to be the Best

There are a lot of sports bars in the US, so sticking out as being different and the best can be pretty challenging. Most often, operators look toward doing something crazy or fancy with their beer and food menus. And often this is can create a fantastic little niche for many locations. But there are more and more bars out there with a beer list the length of War and Peace.

And frankly, if you’re a tried & true sports bar, your guests are coming to your location for one reason beyond all others – to watch sports.

So, it would stand to reason that you’d want to give your guests the best possible viewing experience. Be it from the best TV screens, personal audio, a fantasy sports-friendly atmosphere, etc. But sports bar operators would also be wise to create a niche in showing live, amazing games that no one else in your area will.

Stand out with OTT sports.

We’ve already talked a little bit about alternate sports that make for exciting viewing, many of which is available through your current content providers. But more of the big sports TV players are putting out over-the-top (OTT) sports content and are showing games you can’t get anywhere else.

OTT is the delivery of video content via the Internet without requiring users to subscribe to a traditional cable or satellite pay-TV service – like Hulu or Netflix. In the world of sports TV content, these include otherwise un-televised live games and on-demand video libraries (mostly documentaries or classic events from the past). OTT sports networks typically have a wide range of live content, showing both mainstream leagues, niche sports and non-traditional leagues.

Over the Top Sports Programming for Sports Bars

Despite this, sports fan adoption of OTT streaming is pretty low right now. According to a 2017 report, more than half of fans (63%) are reluctant to subscribe to a sports live streaming platform and the majority (72%) come to expect bad service (latency issues, etc.). A 2016 report showed that just 16% of US homes have some sort of OTT sports service.

This is great news for operators, though; you can provide your guests with content they’re not willing to buy for their home but can’t get anywhere else.

For sports operators, sports OTT is win-win.

While sports fans have concerns about the reliability of OTT sports, we’re less worried. OTT is already pretty prevalent in our daily content consumption. Netflix boasted 125 million worldwide subscribers at the end of Q1 2018. Hulu has more than 17 million US subscribers. OTT and streaming content isn’t emerging; it’s already here. Most of these fears stem from the early days of live sports streaming, when streaming live events was in its infancy. It’s matured a lot since then and is only getting better.

So, if you’re looking for a point of difference and a way to become more than just another sports bar, we recommend giving OTT a look.

And be sure to subscribe to the SportsTV Guide so you’ll always know what games are on and on what channel. Completely customizable to your sports bar and location.

About the Author:

Justin Aucoin is the Content Director for the SportsTV Guide, The Rail Media and NextRestaurants. He oversees the day-to-day content creation operations of all three websites. When not writing about the restaurant industry, he enjoys fencing and writing historical adventure tales.

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