In a recent article, UFC had announced that it’s next big fight will only be available online through its streaming service UFC Fight Pass. This is not the first example of an entertainment company to move out of the lucrative pay-per-view market and self-distribute. One of the most disruptive aspects of the internet has been the freedom it’s given to content creators.
When digital streaming first came to the internet, the technology and infrastructure to broadcast live was limited. There were buffering issues, lost connections, and quality issues. Viewing was also restricted to those who had the equipment and software to watch the stream, and the stream was also limited to a desktop.
Now, many of these obstacles have been overcome. The general U.S. populace has access to high speed internet, wireless capabilities, and more integrated devices. We can broadcast the event on our television, if we have a Smart TV, Chromecast, or an HDMI cable.
What does this mean for the entertainment industry? More chaos. Broadcast, cable, and Pay-Per-View companies make large amount of money from advertising and fees from broadcasting live events. However, with a small investment, these event organizers and owners can easily broadcast their own events through their own digital channels.
Televised events aren’t disappearing, yet. However, a short way down the road, sports teams, concert promoters, and live attractions will see the advantage the freedom digital streaming can give them. These entertainment companies will be able to control advertising, keep more money for themselves, and create additional content specifically for fans. The list of benefits can go on. The real truth of the matter is not ‘if,’ but ‘when?’