Reinventing the Game: How to Repurpose Sports Live Streams

As Millennials and Gen Z increasingly turn away from traditional TV in favor of streaming media, it’s clear that the way in which audiences consume sports content is evolving. Already we’ve seen a huge pushes on the part of broadcasters and content creators to embrace a new way of sharing live content by pushing live broadcasts of major sporting events on various streaming platforms. In 2020 alone, viewers watched 27.9 billion hours of streamed content. It’s no wonder then that the global streaming market is expected to reach $187.27 billion by 2027.

But how can companies that live stream sporting events grab a bigger piece of this pie? Isn’t their content somewhat limited by the reality that there are only so many sporting events out there to stream? They can’t make teams play more games; they can only get creative with the material they’re already given.


The Benefits and Challenges of VOD

Many such organizations have turned to video-on-demand (VOD) streaming. It’s possible for these companies to create authentic and original content around their sports streams that can appeal to fans during those times when there are no live streams to enjoy. However, creating this content takes additional resources, not the least of which is time and money. This is especially true for smaller scale operations that may find themselves unable to compete with the production level quality of big-name sports broadcasters.

There’s good news, however, for both these smaller scale operations and for the larger organizations looking to maximize their content’s impact. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to build an effective VOD or digital marketing strategy. What’s more, even if you are creating a good deal of original content, you could be missing out on huge cost saving opportunities by not repurposing the live content you’ve already recorded.


Why Repurpose Sports Live Streams

Assuming you record your live sports streams as you stream them, you’ve got a backlog of video content just waiting to see the light of day once more.

Increase audience engagement by keeping them coming back to your platform. Recordings of old sporting events have greater appeal than you might think. Additionally, you can use that footage to more easily build out other types of content, like highlight reels and promo videos.

Improve search engine optimization by embedding repurposed video content into blog posts and landing pages. SEO isn’t just about keywords. Search engines reward websites and pages with longer “linger time”, and video is shown to increase linger time on average.

Expand monetization opportunities through AVOD or SVOD. Advertising-based video on demand (AVOD) involves adding ads before, after, or within your video content. AVOD is typically free to viewers. Subscription-based video on demand (SVOD) gates video content behind a subscription paywall either completely or in part for “premium content.” Certainly, you can place a paywall around or ads within your live content. But repurposing live content turns one asset into several. For AVOD, this means more content to attach ads to. For SVOD, this means added value to appeal to subscribers.

Create more video assets faster by turning one piece of content into many. But are there really that many things you can do with a single live stream?

Want to learn other ways you can build out a robust VOD sports entertainment strategy?


Leverage Clips for Social Media

Garner interest for your live streams by sharing key moments from past streams in social media posts and as highlights on your social media profiles. Video is shown to inspire engagement, including more likes, shares, and click through rates. In fact, posts with video on X reportedly receive 10 times more engagement while video posts to social media in general got 1200% more shares on average.

When scouring your live content in post-production, focus on brief, eye-catching moments. Followers on social media respond most to short clips that don’t rely heavily on audio. Embellish the clips with subtitled callouts and other graphics where able. Most importantly, remember your goal in posting to social media. Include a call to action in your post to accompany the video that leads followers back to your website, video platform, or a recording of the full recording.


Develop Educational or Training Materials

Add some depth to your video offerings with educational content and training materials embellished with live clips. Educate fans about the game, including plays, history, and specific training regimens. Teach them about health related to training and sports medicine, including how to spot a concussion, signs of heat stroke, favorite smoothie recipes, and more.  

But can you really build out materials such as these with pre-recorded content? In some cases (like the smoothie recipe), you may want some more custom video content. However, live streams from games, training camps, and interviews, can add context and visual reference for a wide range of training materials like those mentioned above.


Create Highlight Reels

Highlight reels, as simple as they might sound, are in high demand among fans. In fact, a third of young fans, aged 18 to 24, stated a preference for highlights and clips over watching a live stream of a game. Quick and cinematic highlight reels also play well on social media.

This is possibly the easiest strategy to apply. After all, the content is all there. You just need to parse through it post-stream to capture those key moments. Splicing together those moments with text, voiceover, music, and other graphics can make for a simple, bite sized piece of content with very little extra effort. Lengthier highlight videos that delve more deeply intro certain aspects of a game or series of games also appeal to viewers.


Layer on Post Stream Commentary

Many sports fans already enjoy watching game recordings after the fact, so there’s some value in simply posting live streamed sporting events to your VOD platform for continued enjoyment. However, you can turn that live stream recording into its own unique asset with added value by layering on post-game audio commentary, including stat callouts, replays of key moments, and more.


Monetize Repurposed Content

Finally, don’t forget that your content is an asset, and assets add two types of value: passive and active. Passive value refers to SEO optimization, social media engagement, and general brand awareness. Active value refers to actual revenue generated through ad placements (AVOD) subscriptions (SVOD), and more.

Take your post stream recordings with layered on commentary. You could offer the live experience for free and gate these recordings behind a paywall as part of a premium service. You could also use ad insertion to further monetize them. The same can be said for any educational content you build from these recordings.

The more robust your video library, the more creative you can reasonably get with how you monetize it. Some platforms, like Hulu, use hybrid approaches that draw on subscription and advertising-based VOD monetization. You can also offer tiered pricing so viewers, especially those who are advertising averse, can tailor their experience.


The Right Platform Makes It Easy

If all you do is record your live streams and post them for later viewing, you aren’t setting yourself up for success. The right streaming platform provider under the hood will not only facilitate live-to-VOD recording, but will also help you organize, monetize, and analyze the performance of your content. Find out what streaming platform is right for you!


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About Sydney Roy (Whalen)

Sydney works for Wowza as a content writer and Marketing Communications Specialist, leveraging roughly a decade of experience in copywriting, technical writing, and content development. When observed in the wild, she can be found gaming, reading, hiking, parenting, overspending at the Renaissance Festival, and leaving coffee cups around the house.