Broadcasting is a fast changing and complicated area that can quickly consume time and resource. It is advisable to engage a broadcasting and distribution expert, which can be expensive but may ultimately save time and money.
Event organisers need to carefully consider their rationale for broadcasting their event and determine the best way to meet the goals of the event and its key stakeholders.
The event owner will usually split the broadcasting rights into domestic and international categories (with international broadcast rights often split into regions or countries). Broadcast rights are also commonly split between television, radio and online rights.
The event owner will dictate who owns the broadcast rights to the event, as well as who is responsible for procuring and paying for production. Both television and online rights may be allocated as follows:
- All rights retained by the event owner
- All rights granted to the event organiser
- Rights are split by the event owner (e.g. international rights retained by the event owner with domestic rights granted to the event organiser).
The event organiser must be very clear as to who owns which rights and who is responsible for the production costs.
It is important to note that the production costs may often outweigh the benefit received from being able to sell broadcast rights.
Before deciding upon the most appropriate broadcasting strategy, event organisers must consider the rationale behind broadcasting the event. Reasons may include:
- Requirements from the event owner (i.e. there may be a contractual requirement to broadcast the event)
- Stakeholder requirements (e.g. central or local government funding may be contingent upon reaching a certain international market)
- Sponsor requirements (e.g. sponsors may require a certain amount of exposure)
- Financial incentives (e.g. broadcasters may be prepared to pay a rights fee)
- International or domestic exposure (e.g. if the event is recurring there is likely to be a desire by the event owner to grow the event by gaining wider recognition)
- The audience (i.e. who is interested in the event)
- Event credibility (i.e. an event that is not broadcast may appear amateur).
Once the rationale behind broadcasting the event has been identified, a broadcasting strategy can be developed. The broadcast strategy should determine how and where the event should be broadcast - it should answer the following questions:
- Which countries the event should be broadcast in?
- Do those countries have any restrictions on advertising (e.g. alcohol) that might mean specially adapted content is required?
- What is the best way to reach the events target audience?
- What type of broadcast should the event have?
- Is traditional TV broadcast the most effective way to achieve broadcast goals, or can they be achieved by utilising other methods such as live internet or mobile streaming?
- Which broadcaster and platform (free-to-air or subscription) has the best reach into the events target audience?
- What are the financial implications of the broadcasting strategy?
- What is the quality of production required?
- What type of product is most attractive to broadcasters?