Amazon Prime Video's arrival in live football streaming: a shift in Millennials' habits of watching the Ligue 1
Relevance of the topic: Since 2016, there has been a massive change in the sports broadcasting rights market with the introduction of the GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple) and their streaming video services in Anglo-Saxon countries. This change is spreading progressively and concerns France as well. In 2020, Prime Video became the main distributor of the French professional football championship, the Ligue 1, from 2021 to 2024. It drew the media's attention because it was the first time that an OTT (over-the-top) streaming video platform became a leading distributor of a licensed sport in France. Researchers talk about the "Netflix-ication of the sports industry," which concerns many countries (Lindholm, 2019). This process impacted the balance between the distributors in the sports broadcasting market, but it is interesting to focus on the audience and whether it impacted their viewing habits. Theoretical framework: In the French context, football has not been seen as a noble topic of research for a long time. Therefore, there are few studies available about the subject of this research paper. Besides, the process of "Netflix-ication of sports broadcasting" started to happen recently, in 2020. To bypass the lack of academic resources on the topic, this paper draws inspiration from previous research conducted in other European countries (the UK and Spain mostly) and overseas in the US. Studies about the English Premier League have been privileged due to the many similarities between the championship and the broadcasting rights market with those of the Ligue 1. Research question: How do French viewers aged between 20-29 years old perceive the arrival of Prime Video as the new leading distributor of the French Ligue 1, and how does this arrival affect their consumption practices? Method: In order to provide an answer to the research question, in-depth interviews are favored. These in-depth interviews are semi-structured. Parts: This paper is divided into three parts, focusing on the answers provided by the interviewees. The first part deals with the sports consumption of the interviewees and what type of football content they watch. The second part concerns the interviewees’ viewing experience and how it could have changed after the arrival of Prime Video. The last part concentrates on the "Netflix-ication" of the French football industry and how the interviewees perceive this change regarding their consumption of football. Results: The data collected permitted us to understand that the development of video streaming platforms and internet-connected cord-cutting devices influences consumers’ viewing patterns and consumption of watching the Ligue 1. It increases the practice of mediated football consumption. Besides, the arrival of Prime Video and the Pass Ligue 1 offer an immersive experience within the championship with options not initially provided by traditional TV channels. Watching the whole of the Ligue 1 has a significant cost due to the several subscriptions required. Consequently, it contributes to the use of illegal streaming websites or devices like IPTV and account sharing to bypass financial issues and save money. The "Netflix-ication" of the Ligue 1 broadcasting system invites us to rethink the current distribution system that needs to change to propose offers that focus more on the clients’ needs and desires and offer more flexibility. Prime Video and other streaming platforms could be the next leading actors in the broadcasting rights market in football over traditional TV channels. They might be the most advantageous option for millennials willing to consume sports content and to have a centralized platform that provide an offer adapted to their personal needs.
|, , , , , , , , , , , , ,|
|Pr. Alexandre Diallo|
|Media & Creative Industries|
|Organisation||Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication|
Ynès Dovonou. (2022, June 27). Amazon Prime Video's arrival in live football streaming: a shift in Millennials' habits of watching the Ligue 1. Media & Creative Industries. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/64952