Sir Martin Sorrell has given his predictions for the future of sports broadcasting at CES 2018.
Between big investments from tech companies and the rise of non-Western audiences, the sports broadcasting world is going to go through some big changes, said the WPP CEO.
He spoke of the evolving nature of sports ownership and the need to professionalise, as well as the opportunities for clients in niche sports like surfing and in new technologies such as Virtual Reality.
Regarding content rights he said that the market was only going to get more crowded with “some very big players becoming increasingly interested in sports rights.” This includes some of the biggest tech companies, who are increasingly willing to invest compared to more traditional packaged goods, whose top-line growth has been under pressure.
Sorrell also thinks that virtual reality is “where the most exciting opportunities are.”
More niche sports such as surfing and cricket are going to become more and more significant “if the pricing of the bigger sports rights is sucked up by competition” and he says there will be a number of interesting opportunities in this area.
Sports ownership will also continue to evolve the same way that the contents right market has. Sorrell says that owners have to become “more professional” and that you cannot continue to have “the sort of situations that we’ve seen—the corruption, the lack of a professional approach.”