Fremantle, an outfit renown for flagship programming such as Britain’s Got Talent, is experimenting with live show formats for its more low-fi, web-based production Football Republic, via its Shotglass Media unit, as it seeks to rival broadcast media for brand spend around Europe’s top footballing events.
Shotglass Media - Fremantle UK’s digital label - launched earlier this year, and produces a series of football-themed shows such as FullTimeDEVILS, Blue Moon Rising and the Football republic, among others, all of which are hosted on video sharing sites like YouTube.
The content of such shows has been deliberately constructed to contrast with the tone of voice adopted by traditional broadcasters, but it is now in the early stages of testing out live streaming programming for its Football Republic brand.
Shotglass Media’s expansion plans include expanding into new platforms, including its own URLs such as www.fulltimedevils.com, plus it is exploring the possibility of producing content in additional languages.
In addition, it is also in negotiations with brands, offering them sponsorship opportunities over its coverage of footballing event’s such as UEFA’s Champion’s League, and Euro 2016 tournaments.
Kat Hebden, Shotglass Media, managing director, told The Drum the negotiations with brands were building upon an earlier deal it struck with Skype where the video-calling and instant messaging service was able to facilitate the ‘Skype Pundit Pursuit’, which saw the pair seek out untapped talent among Football Republic viewers.
Hebden added that the opportunity posed by Football Republic offered brands a chance to engage with fans in their own tone of voice.
“We’re a lot more opinionated [in our coverage compared to traditional broadcasters], and because we don’t have a relationship with the FA, or the clubs, we can say what we want,” she said.
This unofficial, and some would argue unorthodox, coverage (see below) of large scale sporting events offers brands the opportunity to engage in the wider group discussion, without having to go to the expense of taking up official sponsorship.
“If you want to talk to fans in their own tone of voice, then use our channels,” said Hebden, adding that its content is brought to viewers by a much more diverse range of viewers, compared to mainstream broadcasters such as Sky, or BT Sport.
To back its expansion plans Shotglass Media has made a raft of senior appointments recently, these include veteran sports broadcaster Neil Smythe, who was appointed as its head of sport, and since formed a 20-strong team to produce the content, which attracts 10 million views a month, according to Hebden.