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Sports Consumer Trends The Sun Sets on Pay-TV Dominance

Report by Alistair Taylor
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The 20,000 Foot View:  With subscription video on demand (SVOD) services surpassing pay-TV penetration en route to becoming a mainstream medium, sporting consumption habits have inherently changed. Rights holders, broadcasters, streaming services and betting and gaming companies will all feel the impact of fast-changing consumption habits and new regional nuances. The impact will be most pronounced in 2021, when the premium sporting rights come up for renewal. 

Premium and domestic rights are currently largely owned by traditional pay-TV operators, so for now live TV sports overshadows the streaming disruptors with smaller rights packages. However, audience change is already taking place and cracks are appearing in the traditional model, especially for smaller sports which are losing audience and sacrificing reach for revenue from pay-TV providers. 

Maintaining audiences and providing excessive convenient content – to the detriment of live sporting events attendance – are key challenges for sports rights owners. Blending in interactive value-add engagement services such as social media sports highlights, sports betting functionality and e-sports interactivity can all help broaden the demographic reach and diversify revenue streams for rights holders ahead of the impending sports rights ‘D-Day’ in 2021.

Key Insights

  • Italy ranks first for both live TV sports consumption and watching sports highlights on social media at        and        penetration respectively in        2019
  • Just        of consumers stream sports
  • Scheduled highlights retain pull, with the UK highest at        penetration, only eight percentage points lower than consuming the sport live
  • Italy ranks highest for consumers placing wagers on sporting fixtures at        compared to an average of       
  • Italy, Sweden (both        and Spain        have the highest live sports attendance penetration
  • The US and the Netherlands have the highest ratios for favouring viewing live sports over attending, at        and        respectively
  • Nearly half of both live TV sports viewers and sports betting enthusiasts have pay-TV subscriptions (rising to        of Swedish sports gamblers)
  • DAZN’s Italian operation had        weekly active usage (WAU) and        subscription penetration as of        2019, buoyed by its premium domestic (Serie A) rights
  •        of Italian Serie A watchers pay for a DAZN subscription, showing increased engagement through ownership of premium domestic rights
  • E-sport event attendees demonstrate the highest propensity to have an SVOD subscription at        penetration; linear sports highlights viewers are second at       

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Amazon, Amazon Prime Video, BBC,        Call of Duty, DAZN, Eleven Sports, Endeavor, English Premier League,        FA, FIFA, Facebook, Fortnite, ICC, ICC Cricket World Cup, IMG, Instagram, Kayo  Sports, La Liga, Match of the Day, NBA, NBA        NFL, PUGB, Serie A, Take Two Interactive, UEFA Champions League

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