Media Rights and Betting with Sam Sadi, CEO of Livescore Group

Next Thursday, March 30th the One-Zero Conference will bring the global sports business and sports media to Dublin in a way that has never happened before.

We are excited to be part of what will be a special occasion across three days of activity in Dublin and Limerick but the centerpiece is a day of conversation, discussion, and high-level network building at the Aviva Stadium.

Rob Hartnett from Sport for Business will be MC for the day one of the discussions that we are looking forward to most is with Sam Sadi, CEO of Livescore Group, the app that lives on the front page of most of our phones and which this season became the broadcast partner of the UEFA Champions League covering every match for Irish audiences.

Its ambition though stretches beyond our shores and in advance of his coming to Dublin, we caught up with Sam in between his busy schedule…

Give us a 10-cent tour of what LiveScore Group is.

Sports fans today must navigate a fragmented ecosystem, delivered by different brands across various platforms. This has resulted in consumers needing multiple paid subscriptions and accounts to engage with their favourite sports.

At LiveScore Group, we want to bring fans closer to the sports they love. In order to provide premium sports content without subscriptions or inefficient advertisements, we’ve identified a model which delivers the most relevant content for free, leveraged via the co-dependency of two separate industries – sports media and sports betting.

Sports media is seeking alternative ways to monetise existing audiences, while online sports betting faces the twin threat of increased regulation and intense competition.

By harnessing the symbiotic relationship of these industries and focusing on the emerging macro trends of each, we’ve created a unique model which has proven to have eliminated their individual inefficiencies.

This is achieved through the construction of a single tech stack ecosystem, offering sports fans high-quality media content, including news, clips and free-to-air delivery of UEFA Champions League broadcast rights in Ireland, as well as a world-leading real-time sports and data update service, which can be used to inform market-leading betting opportunities within our sportsbooks.

Through the convergence of these industries, we’ve introduced an ecosystem which provides everything needed for total sports consumption, allowing for a totally seamless experience delivering ultimate value to our users.

How important was it to buy the rights to the UEFA Champions League in the Irish market?

Delivering UEFA Champions League rights free-to-air to Ireland is a true reflection of LiveScore Group’s aim to deliver premium content to users for no cost.

The investment of top category rights and integrating it into our ecosystem not only brings users closer to one of the best global sports competitions but opens up our potential to explore new markets, pursue new monetisation opportunities and be in a position at the next rights megacycle to be in contention for further super premium rights.

LiveScore Group recently retained rights for the FIFA Club World Cup, again delivered free-to-air in Ireland, which came as a result of the automated, data-powered workflow, which powers our live streaming delivery.

What is the biggest item on your radar for 2023?

We are expecting 2023 to be another big year for LiveScore Group, with our biggest aim being to deploy our ecosystem across new markets and bring more sports fans across the world closer to the sports they love.

What do you imagine it might be for 2024?

We are seeing rapid changes to the way sports are broadcast to consumers.

The escalating costs of streaming service providers holding super premium broadcast rights, with little or no increase in output, is resulting in mass subscription fatigue and increased threat of piracy. Looking ahead beyond next year, we believe that the growth of the ecosystem will result in the free-to-air model leading on the way in how fans consume sport and this will be a strong focus for the future.

How do you split your time across the media and the betting sides of the business?

In order to deliver an ecosystem with each individual component outperforming its competitors, we have to ensure that every aspect is world-class. Therefore, my time is split evenly across each end, ensuring that we constantly innovate our media content, while providing betting opportunities which respond to the ever-changing consumer behaviours.

I’m incredibly proud of our brilliant LiveScore Group family, abundant in talent and passionate about delivering our users with best-in-class offerings across the whole ecosystem. This makes splitting my time much easier.

What’s your favourite sporting moment to have witnessed live?

I had the great fortune of being one of the 90,000 fans at the Santiago Bernabéu to witness Marco Tardelli’s goal in the 1982 World Cup Final. The celebrations that followed the goal that turned out to be the match-winning goal was an experience I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

What are you looking forward to most about coming to Dublin?

One of my favourite parts of the job is meeting with like-minded peers from across the industry and exchanging ideas. Dublin will bring together some old friends and hopefully some new ones, I’m really excited the chat through all the challenges and successes the industry has seen over the last year.