Vast majority of UK sports fans want to watch sporting events exclusively on streaming platforms

The majority of UK sports fans now want to watch sport exclusively on streaming platforms as pay TV customers continue to decline in the UK, a new report has found.

Pay TV subscriptions have been high among sports fans in the UK, with pay TV providers often having exclusive access to the premium sporting competitions on these platforms.

However, the Grabyo 2022 UK Sports Video Trends report finds that fans are either opting to cancel their TV subscriptions, or choosing to pay for streaming access to sports events, often on companion apps provided by broadcasters, rather than a full pay TV package.

The report shows a continued increase in the use of streaming-enabled devices to watch sport with 80% of respondents opting to watch sport exclusively on streaming platforms, using devices including smartphones, smart TV’s and laptops. Meanwhile the use of set top boxes has dropped to one third of UK fans.

While online streaming services remain the most popular for video consumption among sports fans, social media is now as popular as pay TV for sports video content.

The report suggests the major social platforms are used regularly by more than 25% of fans to watch sports content, with most fans watching sports videos on at least three different social accounts every month. TikTok is the fastest growing social platform in 2022, with a 42% increase in users among UK fans in the past 12 months.

The report also found that the popularity of sport for women in the UK has increased dramatically, with an 65% increase in female sports fans from 2021.

“Since 2019 we have been closely tracking how sports fans want to consume video, and this year’s findings suggest we’re nearing a tipping point. Sports viewership may begin to fall back unless more flexible streaming options become available,” said Gareth Capon, Grabyo, CEO. “Many broadcasters are acutely aware of this trend, but our findings paint a clear picture of what sports fans want from rights holders and broadcasters. With social media and streaming becoming the preferred options for video viewing, linear broadcast audiences will continue to fall.”



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