Football’s OTT revolution: interview with Pedro Presa, CEO of mycujoo

A new breed of sports fan is looking to consume sports on their terms. Linear broadcast platforms are suffering as a result. ESPN were (rather controversially) said to have lost 621,000 subscribers in October 2016 alone, their largest loss to date.

Over the top (OTT) platforms, which viewers access via internet-connected devices, are in the ascendency. Sports properties are increasingly seeing the value of OTT for premium sports rights. However, few established OTT platforms are focusing on the ever-growing “long-tail” of niche / unique sports content.

Founded in 2014, mycujoo are democratising football content at all levels. Given the shifting media landscape, and OTTs role in it, now was a great time to speak to mycujoo’s CEO Pedro Presa…

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The Fowler: What is mycujoo?

Pedro Presa: mycujoo is a specialised platform for football content rights holders to produce, host, distribute and monetise licensed live and on-demand video content. We support them to empower their businesses through their own online TV channels, which they can use to monetise their content (ads, PPV, subscriptions, donations) and strengthen their sponsorship propositions.

Through our specialised online technology we facilitate the generation of football graphics, statistics and real time highlights (goals, chances, etc.) managed by the creators of the content, that not only generate the replay in real time for the user to access, but also filter the content into specific folders which are available to be shared and analysed individually. The whole archive is made available to the owner of the content and each specific piece of action is searchable: best plays, free kicks, corner kicks, yellow cards, goals, and much more.

Finally, we simplify content distribution and assist our partners to engage more effectively with their audiences and business stakeholders to generate new business and monetisation opportunities through our unique distribution tools: widgets, apps and embedding options.

The Fowler: Why is it different from other football live stream platforms?

Pedro Presa: We work with our partners to stream content that is not yet available, meaning it has not yet been produced. All the content that you can find on mycujoo is exclusively broadcast on our platform and on the official platforms and social pages of our partners. Although it is the biggest sport in the world, football is still one of the least digitised. We estimate that up to 89% of football content from registered teams and players is lost or not available online or on TV. In a study launched in 2006 (known as the FIFA Big Count), FIFA counted 1.7 million teams and 270 million registered players worldwide. We want to be the window to the world for all of those teams and players. We want to be the platform that empowers the production and distribution of this content for all football fans and stakeholders across the globe.

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The Fowler: You guys broadcast the UEFA Women’s Champions League and you are the official live-stream partner of the AFC: what is behind these partnerships?

Pedro Presa: With UEFA we do not have an official partnership. Since UEFA is not centralising the rights of the Women’s Champions League until the semi-finals, the clubs are individually entitled to produce and distribute this content. Some of the most important women’s clubs across Europe (FCZ Frauen, Fortuna Hjorring, Brondby and Brescia, among others) were already working with us at a national level, so they naturally scaled the partnership to include international club competition matches.

At the AFC level we were delighted to be selected to be the official streaming platform for all AFC Member Associations launching a personalised streaming system at the national level. It is important to mention that this does not apply to AFC competitions. Until the end of 2018, mycujoo is in charge of digitising football across Asia and it is expected that by the end of 2018 around 40 Member Associations will be working with us. After the first three months of the project, we are working with the Bhutan, Chinese Taipei, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Oman, Tajikistan and Saudi Arabia Football Federations, and plan to start working in November with Bahrain, Bangladesh and the UAE. It is a massive project that will give a window to the world to all of the top national and youth leagues in these countries.

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The Fowler: So, is it fair to say you focus on women’s and youth football?

Pedro Presa: We support football as a whole. As mentioned previously, we estimate 89% of all football content is lost. Women’s and youth football content comprises a significant percentage of this. However, there are also several top men’s leagues and competitions across the world that do not have access to broadcast platforms, (even in Europe), not to mention lower tiers, futsal and beach soccer. The market is immeasurable.

The Fowler: What is your most memorable achievement to date?

Pedro Presa: I would have to say two.

The first club that ever believed in us and made all we have today possible, FCZ Frauen. They believed in us from day one, allowing us to pivot and test an idea that was on paper. We have learned so much from the whole club. We will be forever grateful for the opportunity they gave us. They are definitely our top success story, our first ever partner.

The second one is the project with the AFC. Two years on from our launch, we were finally able to prove the value of our company and scale it sustainably at a global level.

The Fowler: … and the biggest challenge moving forward?

Pedro Presa: To establish mycujoo as an alternative model which challenges current inequalities in the sports broadcasting market.

 

About the author of this post:

David is a Chartered Marketer with more than 15 years’ experience in international sports marketing roles. You can follow David on twitter (@davidgfowler) or connect on LinkedIn (ch.linkedin.com/in/davidgfowler).

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