Sports | April 1, 2021 11:50 am

Sports Startup Buzzer Will Offer Fans Live Snippets of PGA and NHL Action for 99 Cents Apiece

Buzzer has secured rights to stream sports highlights via a smartphone app

NHL players from the Los Angeles Kings and Vegas Golden Knights fight for the puck
The Los Angeles Kings and the Vegas Golden Knights fight for the puck.
Ethan Miller/Getty

In a development that goes hand in hand with a recent study finding that NFL, NBA and MLB fans aged 18-34 prefer watching highlights over full games, a new viewing platform has unveiled its plan to offer “live look-ins” at game action for 99 cents apiece via a smartphone app.

Founded by former Twitter executive Bo Han, Buzzer got off the ground yesterday by securing streaming rights to the NHL and the PGA Tour and is in talks with other major sports leagues, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Planning to launch in May or June, Buzzer will also provide viewers with a link that will enable them to subscribe to streaming services that show full games. In exchange for directing customers to the cable operators that provide sports streaming services, Buzzer will collect a referral fee.

“The fact of the matter is that the live audience is shrinking,” Han told the Journal. “We want to make sure that we’re giving access to Gen Z and younger millennial audiences, creating alternative formats that are already in line with their evolving consumption habits.” 

In addition to driving engagement by sending alerts to users about noteworthy moments like a tight game coming down to the wire, Buzzer is also planning to integrate its app with sportsbooks for bettors and third-party fantasy sports sites.

“One key here is that it’s not trying to be another aggregated streaming product to replace YouTube TV, Hulu Live, or FuboTV, but rather to act as a gateway into live action,” according to Fast Company. “It’s an ambitious sports media play that points to where fandom is headed.”

If that is truly where fandom is heading thanks to the viewing habits of millennial and Gen Z fans, it is a bit confusing.

Watching a highlight is a great way to see an individual play, but taking in an entire game is the only way to really be able to appreciate the narrative and nuance of what is taking place on the field, ice, pitch, course or court. Streaming a scene from The Godfather is a fine way to get a sense of the film, but to truly understand and appreciate why it deserved to win “Best Picture” in 1973 the entire film must be consumed.

Buzzer may indeed find an audience and have success, but whether its users will actually be able to contextualize the content they are consuming seems far from certain.

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