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Recovery Economics Post-Lockdown Sports

Report by Alistair Taylor
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The 20,000 Foot View:  As live sports resume following the coronavirus crisis lockdowns, the long-term impact of sports’ mass hiatus will be substantial. An activity gap created a void state for consumers, freeing up previously allocated attention and causing them to reconsider retaining subscriptions with diluted service offerings. The longer-term impact of significant revenue losses from matchday attendances and newly-formed habituated behaviours will be felt long after        has passed. Further inconvenience will be attributed to the rescheduling of backlogged events, creating logistical complications for leagues and broadcasters and resulting in unprecedented competition for attention with clashing schedules. 

Key Insights

  • An activity gap created a void state for consumers, bereft of live sports content
  • Sports’ hiatus created a void for almost two thirds of linear TV viewers, with        watching sports on TV every month
  • Sports has the most loyal followers of all content genres, with        of sports highlights viewers on linear channels consuming sports every month in        2020
  • The spectacle of live sports post-lockdown may have changed irrevocably, as staging games behind closed doors weakens the viewing experience 
  • Only        of consumers prioritise watching live sports when lockdown measures are eased, on par with consumers’ desire to return to work
  •        of consumers prioritise seeing friends and family once restrictions ease,        percentage points higher than the second-highest activity of visiting bars and pubs
  • Interesting international nuances emerge with UK consumers twice as likely as US consumers to prioritise going to bars when lockdown eases
  •        of US respondents report being too nervous to reengage with prior activities post-lockdown due to health concerns, twice as likely as French respondents               of French consumers prioritise returning to work when restrictions are eased, five percentage points higher than watching live sports
  • Postponing the quadrennial 2020 Tokyo Olympics’ until 2021 is slated to cause        billion        billion) in ‘economic damages’
  • Rescheduling clashes will be widespread, with        of US basketball viewers watching American football in        2020

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: 2020 Tokyo Olympics, AFL, Atletico Madrid, Australian Rules Football, Bayern Munich, BeIN Sports, Borussia Dortmund, British Open, BT Sport, Bundesliga, Canal Group, Canal+, Channel Seven, Cheltenham Racing Festival, Comcast, Commonwealth Games, DAZN, Disney, EA, EA Sports, English Premier League, ESPN, ESPN+, FIFA, FIFA Women’s World Cup, FIH, FIH Hockey World Cup, Fox Footy , Gallagher Premiership Rugby, IAAF, IAAF World Athletics Championship, Kansai University, Ligue        Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, MLB, NBA, NBCUniversal, NFL, NHL, NHS, Optus Sport, Peacock, Seton Hall University, Sky, The Athletic, UEFA, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Women’s Euro 2021

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