An abundance of sports-mad viewers across Asia Pacific is an opportunity that existing and aspiring streaming companies have not taken by the horns. A variety of services offer live sports content, but as far as we can tell, the claim by Swedish app store specialist Accedo that it helped create Asia’s first dedicated OTT sports service seems to be a genuine one. An even bigger claim is that every telco in Malaysia has launched the new SportsFix service – giving it direct access to some 22 million smartphone users.
Accedo has partnered with Malaysian start-up SportsFix for the launch of a sports-only live and VoD streaming service on mobile apps and mobile web browsers. SportsFix first launched in August this year, but has tapped Accedo to ease its entry into a rife mobile market, available only in Malaysia for the time being. As well as live and on-demand content, SportsFix streams news and clips to viewers outside of Malaysia where it does not own live streaming rights.
Having published a forecast this year on the Asia OTT market, our research found that pure play OTT video providers partnering with telcos has been a common trend, central to success. Leading telco Telekom Malaysia has taken on one of Asia’s most popular OTT services, Viu, which had amassed some 6 million subscribers across Asia last year. Astro, a major Malaysian satellite pay TV operator, has its own OTT service Tribe, although this is not currently offered in Malaysia.
That leaves the telcos Digi, part of Telenor, with 11.8 million mobile subscribers, Maxis, Axiata’s Celcom, U Mobile, Yes 4G, part of YTL, and Packet One Networks, as well as a handful of smaller MVNOs. We are awaiting confirmation from both Accedo and SportsFix if the service is in fact being launched by all the firms mentioned, and hopefully we can follow up with some detail on how it managed to strike deals with all of them.
Possibly the primary rival to SportsFix will be Malaysian SVoD service iflix, which announced a change in direction from Netflix-challenger to live sports provider in May this year. Although, initial live streams of soccer matches kicked off in Indonesia with no mention of expansion into Malaysia.
Accedo is not giving out any technical details on the launch, such as whether its XDK has been deployed or if it designed the UI, as the company is known to have done in similar projects. Its new cloud platform Accedo One may also be involved, but this product is marketed more at operators and broadcasters, putting them in control of the building, management and deployment of video experiences.
SportsFix CEO Carl Kirchhoff said, “Accedo’s platform and excellent team helped us launch in record time with all telcos in Malaysia and allows us to aggressively roll-out localized services in ASEAN in 2018. Accedo’s proven expertise in this region and agile development of a suite of customizable products was the main reason for choosing Accedo.” ASEAN is the Association of South East Asian Nations, and takes in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.
Accedo CEO Michael Lantz said, “Sports entertainment is one of the key drivers for video services and innovation across the globe. The mix of live and VoD sports content from both regional and international matches is likely to prove extremely popular among consumers.”