Viewing of broadband sports to grow ten-fold to 2025

Whether measured in ratings or revenue, TV coverage of live amateur and professional sporting events is a defining part of the television experience. According to new TDG research, adult broadband users spend one-fifth of their weekly TV time viewing live sports. As broadband distribution begins to play a more important role in feeding this demand, weekly per-capita viewing of OTT TV sports will grow from just under 25 minutes in 2015 to more than four hours in 2025.

These and other insights are discussed in TDG’s new report, Game On! The Future of Sports Video Viewing, 2015-2025. “Most TV viewers enjoy live sports,” said Joel Espelien, TDG Senior Advisor and author of the TDG’s new report. “There are, however, certain segments that do so more than others. This reality was not lost on Dish, who positioned ESPN front and centre in its new ‘skinny’ Sling TV broadband service.”

TDG research finds that 72% of adult broadband users consider themselves avid fans of least one sports genre (that is, ranking their fan status ‘7’ or higher on a 10-point scale. One-fifth (19%) of ABUs are avid fans of six or more sports, a rate that swells to one-third (33%) among 25-34s. These consumers spend significant time and money feeding their sports habits, forming a group of passionate and knowledgeable fans that is the mainstay of ticket sales and multisport networks.

That said, the majority of adults tend to fall somewhere in the middle, with 52% of ABUs being avid fans of 1-5 different sports. This segment constitutes the modern mainstream sports fan whom, because of time, tradition, the popularity of hometown teams, or other factors are thus more selective in the sports they choose to follow. As Espelien notes, “It is safe to say that the NFL and Olympics do well among this group, as do other traditionally mainstream sports like MLB and the NBA. This group also includes those who are fans of the same sport at both the college and professional level (e.g., college football and the NFL count as two sports).”

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