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Sports Viewership - Thematic Research

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  • 25 Pages
  • June 2021
  • Region: Global
  • GlobalData
  • ID: 5393638
1h Free Analyst Time
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Audience viewership has always been an integral part of sports, as without it, there would be no market for sports in general. Throughout the course of human history, sport has always been a popular spectacle, and popularity began to take off following the Second World War. This was largely due to sporting bodies beginning to form in an attempt to organize regular events, as well as fairy regulate their chosen sports. This, combined with the increasing power of television broadcasting throughout the 1960s began to bring sport to the forefront in society. As popularity increased, television networks began securing lucrative contracts which gave them the rights to broadcast certain tournaments, while major brands began sponsorship partnerships with leagues, teams and competitions as a way to promote their own brand. These two avenues of financial revenue have seen the world of sport become incredibly lucrative, and this is likely to continue following COVID-19, albeit in a slightly stunted manner.

The nature of sports viewership has changed drastically over the years, as traditional TV viewing has begun shifting somewhat towards streaming content and online platforms. Research has shown that younger demographics prefer to watch online content, and streaming platforms are becoming more of a powerhouse in the sports broadcasting industry, with Amazon having secured valuable rights packages to the Premier League and the NFL in recent years.

Sports teams also face a battle to attract supporters back to stadiums following the COVID-19 pandemic. Shifting viewing demographics mean that younger generations are also less likely to go to games, and instead follow the action from home. Clubs and teams are desperate from revenues stemming from gate receipts, as fans have been held out of most sporting events over the past year.

Sports media rights have become an incredibly valuable commodity for broadcasting companies, as they know live sports is one of the main draws for attracting TV audiences. The value of these rights has been increasing for years now, and is only set to get larger. The global sports media rights market will grow to almost $60bn by the end of 2024, which represents a 31% compound annual growth rate between 2020 and 2024.

An analysis of the intersection of how sports viewership has changed over the years, and its possible future

Key Highlights
  • While sports fans have always traditionally watched sports either live at stadiums or on the TV from the comfort of their own home, the growth of the Internet has opened up many different ways of watching sports. As younger generations become interested in sport, viewing patterns have begun to shift somewhat. Nowadays, many younger viewers are more interested in streaming games online, with many watching multiple games at once. The accessibility with which many can access different events now is a stark contrast to before the turn of the century, where some games just weren’t televised.
  • For years, sporting events were exclusively tied to cable subscriptions, and OTT (over-the-top) platforms weren’t even a part of the conversation. However, popularity for the latter has soared in recent years, with an estimated 1.2 million people in the US dropping their traditional TV services in Q2 2020. A survey conducted by PwC found that 82% of people kept their traditional subscriptions purely to watch live sporting events, and they would have cancelled had these not been available.
  • Studies by North American intelligence company Morning Consult have shown that approximately 53% of Gen Zers identified as sports fans, as opposed to 69% of millennials, and 63% of all adults. Additionally, 58% of male Gen Zers said they were sports fans, as opposed to 75% of all adult men.
  • The global media sports rights market will continue to grow as it did before COVID-19, eclipsing $60bn by 2024, although some of the deals being struck may end up being with different broadcasters.
  • Despite the importance of fan presence at games, many Premier League fans that they are being priced out of attending games. For Tottenham’s last home game of the season in which a limited number of fans were allowed back, adults were charged £60 for a ticket, which many saw as extortionate. This has been a growing trend throughout the league in recent years, with many hardcore football fans feeling as if they can no longer afford to attend games.

  • This report provides an overview of the history of sports viewership and broadcasting, and how viewing habits have changed with different generations.
  • It identifies the key trends currently dominating sports viewership, broken down into industry and technological trends.
  • Also provided is a look at the botched European Super League, which encapsulates many of the frustrations that modern sports fans have regarding the inflated prices that come with following a sports team.
  • A look at the potential future of sports viewership, and the direction that the sports media rights market is trending towards.
  • A detailed look at the sports viewership value chain, and how different areas of the sector generates revenue and business.

Reasons to Buy
  • For those wanting an in depth analysis of how the sports broadcasters make their money, and the likely future of the industry.
  • Discusses how the landscape of viewing sports has changed forever with the technology boom, allowing viewers to watch live sports from almost anywhere.
  • The publisher’s thematic research ecosystem is a single, integrated global research platform that provides an easy-to-use framework for tracking all themes across all companies in all sectors. It has a proven track record of identifying the important themes early, enabling companies to make the right investments ahead of the competition, and secure that all-important competitive advantage.

Table of Contents

1. Executive Summary

2. Players

3. Thematic briefing

4. Trends
4.1 Technology trends
4.2 Industry trends

5. Industry Analysis
5.1 Market size and growth forecasts
5.2 Timeline

6. Value chain

7. Companies

8. Further reading

9. Our thematic research methodology

10. About the Publisher

11. Contact us

Companies Mentioned

A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes:

  • Premier League
  • UEFA
  • NBA
  • NFL
  • Amazon
  • BT
  • ESPN
  • Dazn
  • NBC
  • Sky