Sports Consumption Measuring COVID-19’s Impact
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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.
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