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

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