When he recently spoke on ZDF’s “Sportstudio” podcast (via Az), Oliver Kahn said he’s fearful that football faces stiff competition in the future from entertainment media companies like Netflix and Amazon Prime. The rapidly growing streaming services are already causing huge hits for cable companies and they’ve changed the way people view going to the movies as a whole because everything is so accessible on the streaming platforms.
Kahn said he is genuinely concerned that football as a whole will lose engagement from younger audiences as these entertainment media companies continue to grow and evolve. “We will experience changes in this decade, and they will be enormous,” he said. Promoting the Bundesliga itself is something that the league has already made massive strides towards, especially in the United States with the coverage switching to ESPN+, but the coronavirus has certainly taken it’s financial toll on the sport as a whole. By stark contrast, media companies like Netflix and Amazon Prime have done exceptionally well during the coronavirus peak periods because everyone was stuck inside and using their services more than usual.
“I don’t think that the competition from Bayern Munich is now just Borussia Dortmund, [RB]Leipzig, other Bundesliga teams or top European clubs. The competition from FC Bayern are other opportunities that young people have in the entertainment sector. The competition is Netflix, the competition is Amazon Prime,” Kahn explained. For all of the growth football has had across the globe within the past couple of decades, Kahn still feels that the grave competition from these entertainment media companies will be increasingly difficult to compete with.
Kahn also would like to see positive changes in football in the wake of the coronavirus. While the pandemic has taken its massive financial toll on clubs across Europe and the rest of the world, he said it’s “a step backwards, a consolidation,” in terms of the growth of sport overall. He also feels that this is an opportunity for a reset of sorts in the financial aspect of the sport to the point where there can be more humility and modesty amongst economical aspects like wages and transfer fees. “Then I really want to see the results. I will look carefully to see whether things really happen that do justice to it,” he concluded.