How to Create a Live Streaming Pay Per View Sports Broadcast [2021 Update]
Online streaming is blowing up in many industries, and sports are no exception.
A study by USC Annenberg and ThePostGame shows that 56% of sports fans are willing to invest in an OTT sports channel to watch games and matches over the internet. This was contrasted with traditional satellite and cable, which sports fans appear to be slowly abandoning.
This trend translates to a phenomenal opportunity for sports broadcasters and sports teams alike.
Live streaming solutions for sports can increase exposure and viewership, especially for amateur athletes and new sporting endeavors. Whether for individual or business-related reasons, it’s always ideal to end up with extra resources and revenue.
That’s where live streaming pay-per-view sports come into play.
In this article, we’ll discuss five key components for successful monetized live streams. We’ll also review a sports-specific use case study. We’ll conclude with a brief review of how simple it is to stream live video with pay-per-view for sports via Dacast’s over-the-top streaming platform.
Before discussing live stream pay-per-view for sports, let’s begin with a review of key points on general video content monetization.
Table of Contents
- OTT Video Monetization
- Best Monetization Method for Sports Streaming
- Pay Per View Live Streaming for Sports: Use Case Study
- How to Set Up a Pay Per View Live Stream for Sports
OTT Video Monetization
Video monetization is the ability to generate revenue from your online sports broadcasts. The three main monetization options include pay-per-view (TVOD), ad-based (AVOD), and subscriptions (SVOD).
TVOD is most commonly known as pay-per-view. As the name suggests, viewers pay for what they want to watch.
AVOD refers to ad-based monetization. You have the option to serve ads on your content. Ads are funded by your advertisers, so rather than paying out of pocket, your viewers pay for the content with a minute or so of their time.
SVOD is a subscription-based method that allows viewers to have unlimited access to a video library for as long as their subscription lasts. Subscriptions are typically weekly, monthly, or quarterly.
For a full rundown of over-the-top (OTT) video streaming and a review of video-on-demand vs. live streaming, advertising, subscriptions, and transactional payment systems, please check out our general OTT Monetization blog post.
Best Monetization Method for Sports Streaming
When it comes to monetizing your sports broadcasts, pay-per-view, ads, and subscriptions are all viable options. The best option for you depends on what you’re trying to achieve and who your target audience is.
For example, if you specialize in MMA fights and televise one event a month or even less frequently, pay-per-view is the best option for you. Viewers can pay to watch the fight, and that’s it.
However, if you’re streaming a little league baseball game, monetizing with advertisements might be the way to go so that parents and family members don’t have to pay out of pocket to see their kids play, but as the broadcaster, you’ll make some money.
Subscriptions are valuable for broadcasters covering an entire season of a sport or a series of sporting events.
While all of these approaches are great options, we’re going to take a close look at monetization in terms of streaming pay-per-view sports throughout the rest of this post.
Pay Per View Live Streaming for Sports: Use Case Study
Now that you have a better idea of video monetization and how pay-per-view compares to other methods, let’s look at how a successful broadcast can impact families and communities. In this use case study, we will show how pay-per-view works for streaming sports.
Erik is 11 and loves playing club soccer. He’s been playing since the age of 6, and his parents come to all of his games. His father records his games so they can watch them later as a family. Erik would love it if his grandparents could watch his games too, but they recently moved to Florida.
Erik’s father, Ron, recently discovered that he could use his Camcorder and a Capture-Card to live stream Erik’s soccer games for everyone to see.
Now Erik’s grandparents easily watch his games live. Since it’s online, other parents, friends, and family members of the rest of the team can get in on the action, too.
Ron quickly realized that quite a few people were tuning in every week to watch the team’s games. He decided to charge $2 per viewer in order to earn some money for his time and effort spent filming and streaming the games.
Ron’s a smart guy, and he knew that family members and friends who couldn’t make a game would easily pay the $2 to catch all the action. As a result, Erik’s grandparents have tuned into every game, and Ron’s been doing live stream pay-per-view monetization ever since.
As we mentioned, ad-based monetization would also work well in this scenario, especially if it was for a team that had a lot of fans.
Video streaming can be a challenging yet rewarding experience for both your viewers and yourself. Live video streaming and pay-per-view monetization give thousands of individuals the chance to watch and take part in amateur sporting events. This wasn’t possible in decades past.
With this new opportunity for broadcasters and sports enthusiasts in mind, let’s talk about how to set up a pay-per-view live stream for sports.
How to Set Up a Pay Per View Live Stream for Sports
There are five key components for setting up pay-per-view for your live sports broadcasts. These include internet connection, equipment, encoders, streaming service, and video monetization.
Each of these components is absolutely essential if pay-per-view video streaming is the route you want to take.
1. Internet Connection
The first thing you will need for any live stream is a sturdy internet connection. There are three ways you can go about connecting to the internet. The most popular approach for broadcasting on the go is via a wireless connection.
The second internet option is via a wired internet connection. While this method provides a reliable connection, it’s not ideal for sports streaming from the stands or the sidelines.
For that reason, the most probable connection for your streaming needs is through the use of a hotspot. Essentially, hotspots allow you to set up a remote internet connection on the go, which is a crucial first step in the streaming process.
You can purchase a hotspot at your local phone service provider store (Verizon, etc.) for fairly reasonable prices.
2. Recording Equipment
The next key pay-per-view live stream component is recording equipment. There are a few ways you can capture and record a live sporting event.
The first choice is a camcorder (e.g., handheld video recorder). In general, we recommend this option due to the freedom of movement it provides while live streaming sports. With a camcorder, you can pan and zoom on the entire field, while also focusing on certain players.
When using a camcorder, you also need a capture card to properly convert the video into streamable content. You can purchase and install a capture card in your computer’s hardware, and then plug your camcorder into the aux in the capture card.
For a more detailed discussion on how to choose a capture card, you can review our dedicated article on capture devices.
If you’re hosting your sports broadcast on Dacast, we recommend reviewing this list of compatible cameras for live streaming before making a decision. Also, review our article on live streaming equipment to choose a tripod and other accessories.
Once you’ve selected a recording device and secured a reliable mobile internet connection, you’ll need to decide on an encoder for live streaming. You have two options here: live stream encoding software and hardware encoders.
To go the software route, you need a sturdy internet connection and a software encoder. You can get started with OBS Studio, which is free software that is perfect for broadcasters who are still learning the ropes.
If you decide to use encoding software, you can also review our comprehensive article on how to select encoding software for live video streaming.
If you have the funds and the technical know-how, we recommend considering a hardware encoder instead of encoding software. A hardware encoder requires a video source that you plug into the encoder.
This method is best for those on a generous budget since most encoding hardware will cost you between $5,000 to $10,000. While this is a more advanced method, it’s ultimately better suited for a studio setting and not necessarily a sports field or arena.
However, for those that are interested in the hardware route, we recommend a TriCaster by NewTek. Since TriCaster is dedicated to encoding full-time, it offers a much more reliable service than encoding software.
4. Live Streaming Platform
Now for the fun part: it’s time to choose a live streaming platform.
Before deciding on a solution to host your content, we highly recommend reviewing several streaming platforms (e.g., Dacast, IBM Cloud video, etc.), their features (e.g., monetization, white-label, etc.), and pricing plans.
Once you do some initial research, you can then take advantage of free trials before you sign up with a particular platform to make sure it’s a good fit.
Of course, we do hope you’ll consider the Dacast live streaming solution. Dacast offers some of the best prices in the industry for CDN-level streaming.
We also offer great monetization options, including live stream pay-per-view. This feature is powered by a secure paywall, which allows your viewers to purchase access to your broadcast all from within the streaming platform.
You can try the Dacast risk-free for 14 days if you sign up now. Access our pay-per-view monetization features and more.
5. Monetization with Live Stream Pay-Per-View
As we mentioned above, sports have become one of the most profitable industries in the world.
Whether it’s HBO Pay-Per-View Boxing or streaming your favorite team game on the go, there’s no question that sports fans love to see their favorite teams on the screen.
With Dacast, you can choose the best monetization method for you and set it up in just a few clicks. We embed monetization features right into the service. We also make it easy to set price points for your viewers.
To recap, Dacast’s options for generating revenue from your streams include live stream pay-per-view, ad-based models, and subscription models which means you have the power to decide which option is right for you.
Also, our broadcasters can attach multiple live stream pay-per-view options to a single broadcast. This feature allows you to up-sell content and add variety to your offerings which helps you reach new and broader audiences around the world. If you’re already streaming with Dacast, just log in to your account and follow a few simple steps to activate and customize monetization for your streams. If you’re new to Dacast, you can also check out our page on pay-per-view for further details and offerings.
Since there are so many levels of organized sports and even more fan bases, broadcasters are destined for success when they go all-in on sports. Whether they’re live streaming little league games or building sports streaming networks, they’ll find many opportunities to make a profit.
As we’ve covered, there are a lot of moving parts when it comes to sports broadcasting.
It will take practice to hone your skills and get comfortable with live stream pay-per-view broadcasting. Getting to know your encoding software or hardware, as well as the streaming platform you choose, will help you feel more confident with the process from start to finish.
If you want to give VOD and live stream pay-per-view broadcasting a try, you can do so with our 14-day free trial. You can test out all our great features for yourself and see if Dacast is a good fit for your streaming needs.
Sign up for Dacast today to get started on your risk-free trial. No credit card required.
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