IMG helps set up new OTT platform for FIVB
The FIVB, the international volleyball federation, is teaming up with existing partner IMG, the international sports and entertainment company, to launch Volleyball TV, the new over-the-top streaming service.
The platform, which was first unveiled last year, will offer live coverage and highlights from all the sport’s major events, beginning with the new Volleyball Nations League, the remodelled men’s and women’s competition, which gets under way tomorrow.
The VNL, which replaces the existing men's World League and women's World Grand Prix series, has been developed in partnership with IMG, the FIVB's commercial partner since 2009, and a group of 21 national federations.
Volleyball TV will show live coverage of all 260 men’s and women’s matches from the VNL, as well as 10-minute highlights from every game.
Additional footage from the men’s and women’s World Championships will also be available, with details to be unveiled in the coming months.
Volleyball TV will be accessible on desktop, mobile, iOS, and Android devices as a pay-per-view service in selected markets.
In addition to the live action and highlights there will be archive content, with other FIVB competitions, national leagues and international tournaments expected to be added to the platform at a later date.
Ioris Francini, co-president of WME and IMG, said today: “There is a tremendous buzz around the Volleyball Nations League and the channel will ensure that fans of the sport in future will have access to the live action wherever they are in the world.
"Going forward, we want to create a service that delivers a year-round digital experience featuring coverage of all major tournaments and leagues as well as news and feature content. In time, we will introduce a range of packages so subscribers can choose what best suits them.”
The VNL marks the first time that the FIVB has fully centralised media and commercial rights distribution, with IMG handling media rights distribution and production, to ensure a consistent presentation of competitions.
The FIVB is handling sponsorship sales.
Previously, the national federations held on to domestic media rights and sponsorship.
The OTT role for IMG comes just months after parent company Endeavor acquired NeuLion, the live and on-demand streaming technology company, in a $250-million deal.
That acquisition was the latest play by IMG as it seeks to build up its OTT technical capabilities in order to develop direct-to-consumer solutions for its own properties, and those to which it sells rights.
IMG already manages the OTT services for two Endeavor-owned properties in Professional Bull Riders, the international bull riding circuit, and UFC, the popular mixed martial arts series.