Could Blockchain Change the Way 300 Million Fans Are Streaming Sport Videos?

SportsFix

The author of the column is Alexander Savinkin, our investment expert and co-founder of Howtotoken. It’s #icobusted, where we scan the market for the newest and most remarkable upcoming ICOs and analyze them in-depth, with a focus on the viability of the business concepts behind these projects. This won’t concern pre-ICO/ICO price gaps, no gasps and groans about the team, and no code checking. Here, we will try to break everything down to see if there are any market prospects for the product if, and only if, that product can be delivered.

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SportsFix

In a few words, SportsFix is an already functional OTT platform (over-the-top), streaming sports videos to fans throughout Malaysia. They’re going to combine OTT technology with the blockchain to allow fans to come engaged with their fellow fans, favourite leagues, and clubs.

At first glance, SportsFix looked like investor`s dream: an interesting growing market, an already functioning business, VC acceptance… but it’s not all that simple.

Product

There are currently several problems on the market of sports broadcasting, such as convoluted sports content distribution systems and displaced fans, all of which SportsFix is going to solve by introducing the new concept of a “Digital Stadium” (DS). So what is a DS and how does it works?

DC is a virtual stadium owned by a sports club where fans can watch real games online. They can also be rewarded in SFT tokens for taking part in different kinds of activities. For example, fans can get SFT directly from clubs by participating in bounty programs (advertising the club on social media, using the loyalty system, etc) or from sponsors by advertising their goods. When using SFT, fans can pay to watch games, vote on content, and make predictions on the outcome of the game.

Additionally, non-affiliated companies would be able to develop their own apps and integrate it in the SportsFix platform, allowing users to, for example, order a pizza with a single click while watching a game.

The idea of DS is to create “digital stadiums” for every sports club. They are going to exclude middlemen (right holder agents, broadcasters, etc.) and to allow clubs to interact directly with their fans.

But above all, SportsFix is simple in that it’s primarily a money-making service that streams videos on demand. Its utilization of the blockchain offers minimal functionality and can be seen right now as just marketing collateral.

Market

According to Rethink Technology Research, the whole OTT market of Southeast Asia will grow to 200 million subscribers by 2021, with 14.7 million in Malaysia alone. Video-on-demand and paid TV subscription revenues will reach $10 billion by 2021 from the $6.5 billion market today, and pure play VoD services are set to dominate (at $6.29 billion) any operator-supplied services. Keep in mind that sports doesn’t even have the largest share in these figures.

SportsFix targets the markets of Malaysia and Indonesia, then possibly the rest of Asia, and there are already enough companies working in this sector. As an example, it was the malaysian company Astro, with its $9.8 billion capitalization, that used to be the monopolist on the paid-TV sector for 20 years, and it now has approximately 55% penetration in Malaysian TV households. They have recently launched their own OTT platform in Malaysia called AstroGo, and another platform, Tribe, that is currently only available in Indonesia and the Philippines.

But for the comparative analysis, we’d better take Iflix (although there’s also HOOQ, Hotstar etc.). It’s an international company, available to consumers in 28 countries. Among them are Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and several others. Now they have about 15,000,000 subscribers. By the beginning of 2018,  Iflix raised close to $300 million from investors. The most recent round valued the company at $500 million.

By making rough calculations, we can suppose that if SportsFix will reach 1,000,000 subscribers (which is about 5х the current figure of its 200,000 subscribers ) it is highly possible that it can be valued at around $30 million or less (without adjustment factors).  And that’s not so much in comparison with the SportsFix hardcap of $32 million. It’s up to you whether you consider it impressive or not, or if they can make 75x to come up with Iflix. I don’t think so.

Summary

Blockchain integration could allow SportsFix to realize some interesting features that may distinguish them from their competitors. But it’s our opinion that these features are not that disruptive to win over the market.

If you want to buy rights for the popular sport leagues, you’ll have to compete with big money. The existing leaders have more. And if I like to watch Ronaldo score another hat trick, I won’t change it for some bonus tokens to watch, say, Trankepaldo (No offence, Trankepaldo – I believe you can be great, too!).

One more interesting fact: In German, Russian, and Turkish (but surprisingly not in English) versions of WP in Annotation SportsFix writes that they can probably issue security tokens sometime in the future for their fans. And only then fans will be able to co-share some  of the copyrights and profits. Now onto the final question: Should investors put their money into this venture right now, or should they wait until a security token becomes available?

The final pro et contra:

(+) A large regional market with good prospects
(+) Existing product (non-blockchain based)
(+) VC approval
(-) Tight competition with leaders
(-) Capital deficiency to win rights for the leading leagues
(-) No outstanding competitive features

Before making a decision, we’d need some time to verify if the concept of Digital Stadiums can actually bring in any real money. All in all, I’d rather wait for the right token structure and guarantees of participation in possible profits before making a choice.

References

  1. SportsFix is Changing the Game! by Carl Kirchhoff
  2. Asian streaming services stand strong against US rivals by Ken Koyanagi
  3. Asia Pacific OTT Video & TV Delivery Forecast 2017 to 2021
  4. Astro launches Tribe, an OTT online video service
  5. iflix Wins Best OTT Video Service at Telecom Asia Awards
  6. Mayfair 101 completes US$1mil investment in live streaming platform SportsFix by Digital News Asia
  7. Iflix raises $133M for its Netflix-style service for emerging markets by John Russell
  8. SportsFix-Premium Decentralised OTT Streaming Platform for Live Sports

All materials on this site are for informational purposes only. None of the material should be interpreted as investment advice.

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