79% of global sports fans now want to watch sport exclusively online: Grabyo Sport Video Trends Report 2021

Grabyo’s new 2021 Sports Video Trends Report surveyed over 15,000 consumers across 14 countries to identify the video viewing and purchasing habits of global consumers.

Throughout 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic, sports broadcasting has gone through a period of rapid change, both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. With sporting venues providing limited capacity or having no fans at all, producing live sport for audiences across the globe has become more important than ever.

Grabyo wanted to find out what impact this change in content output and fan behaviors have had on sports fan’s video viewing and purchasing habits. Are fans looking for the same level of flexibility in sports viewing that they enjoy across entertainment and film? What types of social media content do fans want to see?

This report expands those insights to get feedback from consumers from across the globe. We surveyed over 15,000 consumers from the UK, US, Canada, Australia, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, India, Japan, Thailand, Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina.

79% of sports fans ready to go streaming only

The report found over three-quarters of global sports fans now want to watch sport exclusively on streaming services, according to Grabyo’s new 2021 Sports Video Trends Report.

The findings show sports fans are growing impatient with the lack of streaming options, suggesting that fans either expect more to be available in the future, or may choose not to watch live sport if it is only available through broadcast TV subscriptions.

In 2019, Grabyo found that 53% of global sports fans that pay for video services were planning to cut the cord and switch to streaming exclusively by 2024. Now, in 2021, 45% of fans are only paying for streaming services. By 2026, Grabyo’s report suggests that the pay-TV market will only have a 28% customer share of global sports fans.

These findings reflect a global trend of consumers adopting streaming services in favor of broadcast TV subscriptions, which has been accelerated by stay-at-home safety measures during 2020. This led to consumers across age demographics experimenting with streaming services and being convinced by their value.

The report shows that sports fans are growing impatient with the lack of streaming options, suggesting that fans either expect more to be available in the future or may choose not to watch live sport if it is only available through broadcast TV subscriptions.

Social media has become a primary destination for content

Fan expectations for the quality and production value of video on social media now align with that of broadcast TV.

Fans are always looking for something more – new formats, closer access and content that adds value to following sport. Media publishers must continue to innovate while sticking to the fundamentals of each social media platform, hitting the right tone with content optimized for viewing on each platform.

The report also found that over 65% of fans want to see more live sport and live events broadcast to social platforms. With fanbases distributed around the world, live social video enables broadcasters to create audience-driven content, encouraging participation with polls or displaying user-generated content and social media comments on a broadcast. This drives engagement and immersion, giving fans more control over what they are watching and creating a two-way conversation with on-air talent.

To download the full report, click here.

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