Menu

Madkour: What content are fans willing to pay for?

Catching up on some podcasts recently got me thinking about a very timely topic. On “Patriots Unfiltered,” the team’s vice president of content and show host, Fred Kirsch, opened by asking listeners: What would entice you to pay around $5 a month for a proposed new subscription streaming service, NFL Plus? While details of the service are scant, Kirsch used it as a test case for the type of content football die-hards would want to see. He simply asked, “Outside of access to any game at any time, what type of content would you be willing to pay for?” It was a straightforward, thoughtful question, and the answers offered a broad range of ideas that were worth sharing — both from the podcast talent and then later, when I posed the same question to colleagues.

On the podcast, one co-host wanted a new and improved “All-22” film experience; another asked for something akin to “Hard Knocks” or “any behind the scenes content that is not public.” Kirsch proposed NFL Plus develop a dashboard where all approved sportsbooks can list all of their contests for users to glean and make bets, as well as provide a dashboard to see in real time the winning probabilities and how the bets are performing. He envisioned a platform that would manage one’s game-day betting, where fans can shop the odds, get updates and even consultation/advising on betting behaviors.

Callers into the show wanted access to historical games and the NFL Films library, hometown “ManningCast”-type presentations and alternate views and a “director’s cut” after a game with former players and team insiders on the key moments. In addition, others mentioned all NFL-related documentaries, as well as player and coach interviews from the archives in a quick, searchable format. They also didn’t want any specialty content moved directly off a team’s website to the subscription-based NFL Plus. The question kept me thinking, and I put it to my colleagues. Here are some of their responses:

“I want live games. Otherwise, I don’t see much value in NFL Plus. There are too many OTT services out there now, and plenty of other sports outlets for NFL content. I don’t need a paid service that gives me NFL content all year.”

“I’d pay extra for a full experience around my team and exclusive insight from very smart reporters who have access to personnel decision makers and can give me inside perspective on how ownership, GMs and coaches feel about the team. That’s really hard to find. I don’t want leaguewide content.”

“Many verticals. It would need to provide game options similar to MLB Play and include NFL trivia. Betting in states where it is allowed. I would want them to make their fantasy offerings exclusive to NFL Plus and then give participants a real reason to not go to another provider such as Yahoo or ESPN, etc. That might be tickets or merchandise. Even if they did all that, I’m not sure it’s fair value for users. I’d really want access to a team’s out-of-market games. That’s a steep hill to climb if you are the league, certainly at $5 a month. Maybe include out-of-market audio. I get that with SiriusXM for $5 a month. Why not put it in NFL Plus?”

“The NFL could charge $5 for everything fans are used to getting essentially for free and the league would make a killing. Look, I pay $6 a month just to watch 10 episodes of ‘Yellowstone’ a year. Why not $5 for whatever the NFL puts out there?”

“It’d be tough for me to find value without out-of-market games. Maybe if they moved ‘Hard Knocks’ over or did a behind-the-scenes show during the playoffs. Uncensored, miked-up content could be a draw.”

“Access to all team-produced content and practices. A weekly ‘All Access’ type segment and a podcast devoted to fans — whether hosted by or interacting with them.”

“There is nothing the NFL can do to make me plunk down $5 per month. I pay enough for the cable bundle, plus Amazon Prime. They can’t get any more out of me.”

These responses align with a group discussion that I facilitated at SBJ’s Brand Innovation Summit in Chicago this month. More than 400 people sat around tables of eight to 10 and brainstormed what fans want today and not surprisingly, so many of the ideas came down to content. The groups leaned heavily into audio, video, personalities, storytelling and gamification. It boiled down to a frictionless experience offering more choices, more control and as personalized as possible. Creating such sticky, exclusive, behind-the-ropes compelling content takes resources, full buy-in and true talent. It isn’t easy but it’s what fans are willing to pay for. What content would drive you to pay for such a service?

Abraham Madkour can be reached at amadkour@sportsbusinessjournal.com.

SBJ Morning Buzzcast: August 18, 2022

The NWSL adds to its C-suite; CA regents ponder next step against UCLA; Bally Sports + sets national launch; the W's strong viewership season and podcast suggestions

SBJ Unpacks: USL Soccer

SBJ's Alex Silverman is joined by USL Chief Operating Officer Justin Papadakis to discuss the state of the organization and its ambitious growth plans.

SBJ I Factor: Jed York

SBJ I Factor: Jed York, presented by Allied Sports SBJ I Factor presented by Allied Sports features an interview with San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York. York is in his 17th year with the organization and his 12th as CEO. He is a two-time SBJ Forty Under 40 honoree as a member of the classes of 2012 and 2013. York talks with SBJ’s Abe Madkour about what he learned from growing up in the sports business, working in multiple departments at the team, the challenges of building Levi’s Stadium, and how his leadership style has evolved through the years. SBJ I Factor is a monthly podcast offering interviews with sports executives who have been recipients of one of the magazine’s awards, such as Forty Under 40, Game Changers and others.

Shareable URL copied to clipboard!

https://sbjcd01.centralus.cloudapp.azure.com/Journal/Issues/2022/06/27/Forum/FORUM.aspx

Sorry, something went wrong with the copy but here is the link for you.

https://sbjcd01.centralus.cloudapp.azure.com/Journal/Issues/2022/06/27/Forum/FORUM.aspx

CLOSE
;