Matchroom Live Announcement

This was published by WST earlier today:

Matchroom Sport is delighted to announce that Matchroom Live, a platform giving sports fans worldwide access to its portfolio of events, will launch this Wednesday, May 6th.

The service allows fans to delve into the history books of all Matchroom’s offerings from Boxing to Darts to Snooker and many more for free. Fresh archive footage will be added continuously ensuring every sports fan has countless hours of sport to watch wherever they are in the world.

Snooker fans will be able to watch classic moments featuring all-time greats including Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump, Stephen Hendry, Steve Davis and many more. World Championship winning moments, dramatic matches, 147s – the platform will feature a wealth of classic content. Highlights videos from this season’s big tournaments, all episodes of our magazine show Baize Watch and a range of other fantastic snooker content will also be available.

Steve DavisFans will also be able to live stream ongoing events through a subscription package and pay-per-view options in territories without current broadcast rights holders. This will give fans direct access to the action including the World Darts Championship and Premier League Darts, Pool’s Mosconi Cup and World Pool Championship, plus the World Snooker Championship and the remainder of Matchroom Sport’s catalogue of live events.

Matchroom Live is a video-first platform, with the ability to cast to virtually any device whether that be a console, Smart TV, or connected device. The services will also allow fans to watch up to four live events at once with ‘QuadPlay’.

The service is built and powered by sports streaming and video technology specialists StreamAMG. They have been a longstanding partner of Matchroom Sport operating PDCTV since 2016 and streaming Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz II for the Indian Subcontinent in December 2019.

Fans can sign up for the free archive of sports from Wednesday May 6th.

I’m not too sure what to make of this. My worries are triggered by the part that I have put in bold. WST has currently ongoing contracts with the BBC and Eurosport, as well as with partners in China. However, every contract comes to an end eventually and needs to be re-negotiated. For those sports “owned” by Matchroom the temptation might be there to keep an exclusivity to show some events or specific matches on their platform, forcing fans to subscribe, or even to be forced into a pay-per-view system for the highest-profile ones. After all, they are out there to make money!  I must say, I’d hate that.