Grabyo’s new At Home Video Trends reports detail how changes in the lives of sports fans has affected consumption habits and attitudes towards sports video.
The absence of live sport in the summer of 2020 resulted in huge pent up demand from sports fans.
With all sporting events cancelled or postponed, athletes, clubs, leagues and federations were forced to experiment with new ways to entertain and engage fans.
Many began producing more raw, unfiltered content for their social and digital channels. We were invited into the homes of sports stars, as they performed TikTok challenges or took interviews from their couch. Fans were also able to access archive content across social and digital platforms, including full-length matches and watch-a-longs, all while connecting with other fans.
The result of this forced experiment has had a profound impact on how sports fans watch content, and therefore, the perception of value in sports media.
Grabyo’s 2020 At Home Video Trends Report used data from 4000 consumers in the UK, and 4000 consumers in US, to find out how video consumption and buying habits have changed during social isolation in both countries.
Almost 60% of UK sports fans willing to switch to streaming
In the UK, sports fans have little choice in where to watch many major sports. Historically, linear TV broadcasters have held almost all of the premier sporting rights in the UK.
However, this is beginning to change. Amazon Prime Video’s acquisition of ATP tennis rights has brought many top-tier tennis events to fans online. BT Sport has also launched an online-only subscription to allow sports fans to watch sport on its channels, including the UEFA Champions League and Premiership Rugby, without the need for an additional pay-TV subscription, following the evolution of NOW TV from Sky.
Overall, sport has lagged behind the entertainment industry when it comes to flexibility. In consumption, access, and purchasing options. Sports fans have noticed.
Today 77% of sports fans watch video regularly on online streaming platforms, with 68% watching regularly on pay-TV services and 66% watching regularly on social media.
One irreversible effect of lockdown in the UK is the shift to digital consumption, especially in older consumers. Data from Grabyo’s research reports suggests that once consumers try online streaming services, they don’t tend to cancel, or favour pay-TV. During lockdown, the penetration of online streaming services grew at least 20% for consumers over 50.
67% of US sports fans willing to switch to streaming
The US is ahead of the global curve when it comes to streaming adoption. Sports streaming platforms such as DAZN and ESPN+ already offer this type of service with great success – DAZN achieved 950% year-on-year growth in 2019.
In the US market, there is a huge opportunity for broadcasters and rights holders to launch a dedicated streaming service for sports fans who just want to watch online. The latest of these is NBC’s Peacock, which has entered the market with premium rights to sports such as the EPL.
Sports broadcasters in the US are paying attention to wider consumption habits and adjusting to suit consumers. More sports fans are now using social media (76%) than pay-TV/cable (74%) to watch video regularly. 84% of sports fans watch content regularly on online streaming platforms.
This change in consumption habits has caused a shift in attitudes towards watching sports on digital. 67% of sports fans would now be willing to watch sports exclusively on streaming platforms and 69% of these fans would be willing to spend over $10 per month for sports content. For the superfans Grabyo’s new report showed that 31% would be willing to spend over $25 per month on an online streaming service that carries live sports and highlights (VOD).
For more insights, download Grabyo’s At Home Video Trends Reports below.
Stay safe everyone.