Our Account Executive Orry Robinson reflects on the challenges faced by broadcasters in a digital age after the eagerly anticipated Eubank-Quinlan bout last weekend.
Last Saturday, the nation watched as Chris Eubank Jr. quashed opponent Renold Quinlan to win the IBO super-middleweight title.
A fierce opponent, if only for his persistence, Quinlan eventually succumbed to Eubank’s tireless offensive in a 10th round stoppage.
For weeks, the bout had been billed as one of the year’s biggest highlights on the boxing calendar; an opportunity ITV was well positioned to capitalise on. A pay-per-view event available through the ITV box office for a one-off payment of £12.95, the contest was set to generate millions in sales and advertising revenue.
While I didn’t watch the contest in its entirety, I did happen across the fight on my Facebook newsfeed being streamed via Facebook Live.
Amazingly, at one point the live stream had more than 100k viewers.
Assuming each viewer represents a one-off box office sale – as a mobile device would likely be too small for a group to huddle around – we can estimate that this single Facebook Live stream resulted in a potential loss of approximately £1.3 million in box office sales for ITV.
The difficulty this poses is not simply a loss of box office sales, but the loss of accurate metrics for evaluation, future projections and ad-buyers.
As with music licencing and Facebook’s audio recognition features, it’s possible that Facebook will eventually look to forcibly remove accounts that are streaming paid-for events and services to appease its larger clients with substantial social media marketing budgets.
Does Facebook have ad-buyers and networks on the ropes?