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Sports Consumption Measuring COVID-19’s Impact

Report by Alistair Taylor
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The 20,000 Foot View: With the pandemic-enforced postponement of live sports creating an entertainment void for sports fans, understanding            impact on overall sports consumption and where audiences are substituting their finite attention is paramount for sports distributors and rights holders.            exposed the necessity for rights holders to focus on building digital engagement beyond their pure play broadcasting of live events. Filling the void state created by the postponement of live sports has created a need to maintain engagement. Digital alternatives such as gaming will be crucial in maintaining relevance during the live sports hiatus.

Key Insights

               exposed pure play sports streaming services and pay-TV operators as substitutive propositions and primary churn candidates during a global pandemic
  • The pandemic            forced rights holders to consider            legacy revenue models
  • Rights holders            for revenue over reach cannot            the demographic cliff facing pay-TV            with            of pay-TV subscribers over            old
  • This is            more apparent when you consider                       of TV sports viewers are                       whereas            account for only            of            audience
  • Digital innovation            essential for rights holders with                       times more likely to own            SVOD subscription than live in            household with a pay-TV membership
  • Watching recorded            declined            percentage points YoY from            exposing the vulnerability of sports            a content library asset during            pandemic
  • Live sports            consumption was down in            2020            the pandemic emerged, lowest in            UK at only            in            2020,            Canada experiencing the largest decline 
  • In the            soccer is consumed almost two            as much as the second-placed            Formula one,            versus           
  • American Football            king in the US, with            consumers watching,            percentage points more            second-placed basketball
  • Disney-owned ESPN+            the US is the best            sport-centric streaming service to navigate            due to being part of            diverse bundle alongside Hulu and           
  • Compared to            Sport, Kayo suffered a significant            in subscribers due to            falling                       in            2020, to            in April
  • E-sports offers            to fill the void for            holders, considering            of soccer viewers            with the virtual version in            compared to a            consumer average

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Activision, Amazon, Amazon Prime Video, Apple, Call of Duty, DAZN, Discovery, Disney, Disney+, EA, Electronic Arts, Eleven Sports, English Premier League, Epic Games, ESPN, ESPN+, Eurosport Player, FIFA, FIFA World Cup, FloSports, Fortnite, Foxtel, GolfTV, Grand Theft Auto, Hulu, IOC, Kayo, La Liga, Marshmello, MediaPro, MLB, NBA, Netflix, News Corp, NFL, NHL, Optus, Optus Sport, Serie A, Sky, Sky Sports, Telstra, Telstra Sports, The Players’ Championship, Travis Scott, UEFA Champions League, US Masters, WWE