ONE Championship Digital Viewership Hits Record Highs Amid Pandemic
The coronavirus has had a profound impact on many businesses around the world. The pandemic forced ONE Championship to cease activity for five months and although the promotion returned with ONE: No Surrender on July 31st, events are still closed-door as a result of the COVID-19 measures being enforced.
Viewership Number Up
This means that fans can only watch events through online platforms. But amidst this pandemic, online viewership numbers for ONE Championship have gone through the roof. In an interview with CNBC, ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong talked about the positive impact the pandemic has had on his organisation.
“What’s interesting is during this pandemic, our digital views and video viewership numbers online has broken new record highs,” Sityodtong said. “So ONE Championship is a sports media property and the most important thing is our broadcast to 150 countries around the world across all their platforms, whether it’s free-to-air TV, paid TV, digital and social media platforms. This is the power of media at work. Funnily enough, our viewership number continue to climb in this pandemic.”
Creativity And Resilience
The online platform has really brought ONE Championship much success. Currently, online-broadcasted events are the only option during the global pandemic. Sityodtong has considered making studio shows a crucial aspect of his strategy.
“What we discovered in this global pandemic is that creativity and resilience are the keys to success. Creativity because we have to come up with new products and new ideas and new solutions for problems we’ve never encountered before. And resilience because there’s tons of obstacles, setbacks, failures and mistakes that we make in this remarkable period of innovation for us.
“So I would agree a hundred percent we are exploring studio shows. We’re doing a bunch of different things in terms of getting more and more content out there. Live content but for a very low cost given that there isn’t a crowd in the stadium to cater to. But we definitely do foresee our studio shows to be a big part of our long-term strategy.”
Optimistic For 2021
Currently, it looks like ONE will have to continue with closed-door events for the remainder of the year, at least. However, Sityodtong has a positive outlook for the next year.
“For the rest of this year, I believe that we’ll be doing only closed-door events. But I’m quite optimistic for 2021. Some countries are now starting to allow partial attendance. In Japan, they’re allowing fifteen-hundred people in a stadium. In Thailand, they just opened up to a thousand people per stadium now.
“So we are seeing a slow return back to major sporting events and I think hopefully the vaccines are on the way. But more importantly, the testing and safety protocols have improved tremendously. Even for ourselves, as we learn how to ensure maximum safety for our athletes and for our staff. And countries are doing the same thing all over the world with testing. So I’m very optimistic for next year.”
ONE Championship returns with ONE: A New Breed 2 on September 11th, which will see Pongsiri PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym vs Sean Clancy in the main event, and the promotional debut of Wondergirl Fairtex’s younger sister, Supergirl Jaroonsak Muaythai.