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Sports Consumption Measuring COVID-19’s Impact

Report by Alistair Taylor
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The 20,000 Foot View: With the pandemic-enforced postponement of live sports creating an entertainment void for sports fans, understanding        impact on overall sports consumption and where audiences are substituting their finite attention is paramount for sports distributors and rights holders.        exposed the necessity for rights holders to focus on building digital engagement beyond their pure play broadcasting of live events. Filling the void state created by the postponement of live sports has created a need to maintain engagement. Digital alternatives such as gaming will be crucial in maintaining relevance during the live sports hiatus.

Key Insights

           exposed pure play sports streaming services and pay-TV operators as substitutive propositions and primary churn candidates during a global pandemic
  • The pandemic has forced rights holders to consider benching legacy revenue models
  • Rights holders opting for revenue over reach cannot overlook the demographic cliff facing pay-TV operators, with        of pay-TV subscribers over        years old
  • This is even more apparent when you consider that        of TV sports viewers are over        whereas        account for only        of this audience
  • Digital innovation is essential for rights holders with        being        times more likely to own an SVOD subscription than live in a household with a pay-TV membership
  • Watching recorded sports declined        percentage points YoY from        2019, exposing the vulnerability of sports as a content library asset during a pandemic
  • Live sports TV consumption was down in        2020 as the pandemic emerged, lowest in the UK at only        in        2020, with Canada experiencing the largest decline 
  • In the UK soccer is consumed almost two times as much as the second-placed sport Formula one,        versus       
  • American Football is king in the US, with        of consumers watching,        percentage points more than second-placed basketball
  • Disney-owned ESPN+ in the US is the best placed sport-centric streaming service to navigate lockdown due to being part of a diverse bundle alongside Hulu and Disney+
  • Compared to Optus Sport, Kayo suffered a significant decline in subscribers due to        falling        from        in        2020, to        in April
  • E-sports offers avenue to fill the void for rights holders, considering        of soccer viewers engage with the virtual version in FIFA, compared to a        consumer average

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Activision, Amazon, Amazon Prime Video, Apple, Call of Duty, DAZN, Discovery, Disney, Disney+, EA, Electronic Arts, Eleven Sports, English Premier League, Epic Games, ESPN, ESPN+, Eurosport Player, FIFA, FIFA World Cup, FloSports, Fortnite, Foxtel, GolfTV, Grand Theft Auto, Hulu, IOC, Kayo, La Liga, Marshmello, MediaPro, MLB, NBA, Netflix, News Corp, NFL, NHL, Optus, Optus Sport, Serie A, Sky, Sky Sports, Telstra, Telstra Sports, The Players’ Championship, Travis Scott, UEFA Champions League, US Masters, WWE

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