Monumental Sports and Entertainment Vice President and General Manager Zach Leonsis discusses the impact of their new live-streaming service available through their app. Most recently used during the Citi Open Wild Card Challenge, Leonsis says that live-streaming will be the future of sports viewership and the surface is just being scratched:
- What led to the usage of live-streaming and what’s the purpose of it?
Last fall, we launched a long-term, advanced media partnership with NBC Sports. With an equity stake in CSN Mid-Atlantic, we took a thoughtful approach to the growing trend of digital media and came together to launch a joint venture, with the goal to reach the next generation of sports fans that might opt out of traditional sports packages or who could potentially lose a touch point with their favorite teams. At Monumental Sports Network, we provide fans of all ages live and on-demand programming, which wasn’t available before. This direct-to-consumer model takes into account what our fans want and how they like it. Launching our combined cable OTT ecosystem was an opportunity for us to get ahead of changing viewing behaviors and set us up for the future of sports viewership.
- How does live-streaming events through Monumental Sports display the versatility of sports viewership?
Monumental Sports Network is available on the web and our app through a variety of streaming devices including iOS, Android, Apple TV, Fire TV, Roku, XBox One and more. Live sporting matches are really the last frontier of appointment viewing, and in the binge-obsessed world we live in, we really pride ourselves on making live and on-demand programming available wherever and whenever fans want them. This dynamic combination is something not even Netflix or Amazon can provide and we’re excited to be at the forefront of the future of streaming.
- Do you envision live-streaming being used in other sports in the future?
I believe the future of live streaming sports will center around the continued growth of emerging sports, such as e-sports, where the community already lives online. E-sports might be the very first sports medium where cable television will always be the complementary media asset for the teams and their matches. OTT will also highlight new fantasy gaming opportunities and sports that maybe wouldn’t have been broadcast in the past because of high production costs. When delivered via a digital medium we can broadcast at a high level while keeping production costs efficient, allowing us the freedom to stream hundreds of regional professional and amateur sports — including high school basketball, hockey, lacrosse and more.
- How is Monumental Sports providing innovation to the future of fan involvement with professional sports clubs?
At Monumental Sports Network, we are working hard to fashion what a new age sports bundle looks like for fans. We have Netflix for movies and TV, Spotify for music, but what about sports? That’s what we’re doing — working to provide original content and live-streaming capabilities alongside creating real-life experiences and retail merchandise for the fans.
- How will fans have access to current information and events in the future?
Fans can live-stream the Citi Open Wild Card Challenge by visiting www.monumentalsportsnetwork.com/challenge. Fans can sign up for a free three-month trial and have access to not only the challenge, but as subscribers, can tap into all original programming and unique content available on the website and through the Network’s app (available for iOs, Android, Roku, FireTV, Apple TV, XBox One and more).
- What is new to come to from Monumental Sports?
In addition to original programming and content, the network also provides live-stream coverage of regional professional sports, including current seasons of the Washington Mystics and newly formed AFL teams, Washington Valor and Baltimore Brigade. The network will also bring back local high school sports coverage this Fall and is excited to venture into e-sports — look out for more content from team liquid and more information soon!