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Sports Rights Measuring the ROI for Streaming

Report by Alistair Taylor
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The 20,000 Foot View:  Measuring streaming sports audience engagement is paramount when determining which rights mix consumers are actually willing to pay for. Netflix has shown that in a saturated market, retaining consumer attention can cost twice as much as it did previously to retain the same level of user engagement. The peaking attention economy means that the sports video landscape will not be immune. The correct mix of sporting rights can lead to increased engagement and adoption for SVOD services, but certain rights in international markets do not yield similar returns.

Key Insights

  • Amazon’s investments have increased US TV sports viewer adoption nine percentage points year-on-year (YoY) to        in        2019
  • ESPN+ successfully drove adoption by leveraging domestic UFC rights in the US, resulting in it surpassing two million subscribers in less than        months
  • Aggregating Hulu and ESPN+ daily active usage        in the US, Disney’s future bundle ranks ahead of Amazon Prime Video for engagement       
  • Sports-centric services are by their nature niche, offering only the fifth-most consumed video content genre in the US, down one place in sixth for the UK
  • DAZN US subscriptions fell in        2019, declining two percentage points from        in        2019 to        as peak attention takes hold
  • Sports investments are not doing enough to help Amazon close the gap on Netflix in the UK, with subscriptions up by four and        points respectively
  • Subscription penetration for Amazon was        in        2019, compared to        for Netflix
  • Ahead of the UK debut for its English Premier League (EPL) rights, sports consumers already over index for Amazon engagement;         of streaming sports viewers subscribed in        2019 
  • With reach becoming more important for rights holders, sports-centric services need to secure carriage partnerships and sublicensing agreements to stay in the game

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Amazon, Amazon Prime Video, The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), BamTech, Comcast, DAZN, Disney , Disney+, English Premier League (EPL), Eleven Sports, ESPN, ESPN+, Fox, Hulu, Major League Baseball (MLB), Matchroom Boxing, National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA), National Hockey League (NHL), Netflix, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), US Open, Verizon, Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), Xfinity, Xfinity Flex

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