Reports Media & Marketing

Sports audiences The Gen Z opportunity

Report by Alistair Taylor
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The 20,000 Foot View:  Digital natives are more likely to consume non-live sports than older, traditional sports fans, which presents rights holders and broadcasters with untapped potential for monetisation by harnessing and actioning this insight. While the most valuable sports audience currently remains among pay-TV subscribers, planning for meaningful non-broadcast revenues through digital-native engagement is now crucial for pandemic mitigation, as well as addressing the needs of the underserved fans of the future.

Key Insights

  • Teens are a small but important segment, with        year olds accounting for        of TV live sports viewers in        2020
  • Exclusively paywalling content can restrict reach, with the NHL’s        exclusive broadcast deal with NBC only addressing its ageing fan base
  • The current value for rights holders engaging with Gen Z comes in the form of highlights, with        year olds over four times more likely to consume highlights on social media than        year olds
  • Teens also extend their sports fandom beyond viewing:        of        year olds play fantasy sports, presenting rights holders with a unique medium for reaching the younger fans of the future
  • Rights holders like the NBA that experiment with and prioritise digital engagement have secured younger and more evenly distributed fan bases
  • Sports ranks ninth in terms of TV genre preference for        year olds, highlighting the risk of alienating this audience if rights holders continue choosing revenue over reach
  • Understanding Gen Z’s entertainment preferences can help in identifying preferred destinations for licensing content and future proofing fan bases

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Activision Blizzard, Amazon, Amazon Prime Video, Among Us, Animal Crossing, Apex Legends, Apple, Apple Music, Call of Duty, CBS, Chicago Bears, Disney, Disney+, EA Sports, ESPN, ESPN+, Facebook, Fall Guys, FIFA, Fortnite, GTA, Instagram, Madden NFL, Minecraft, MLB, NBA        NBA, NBC, Netflix, New Orleans Saints, NHL, Nickelodeon, Roblox, Rocket League, Snapchat, Spotify, Take Two Interactive, TikTok, Twitch, Verizon, Washington Post, WWE, Yahoo!, YouTube

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