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Sports SVOD Services Deep Dive

Report by Alistair Taylor
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The 20,000 Foot View:  Sports-centric subscription video on demand (SVOD) services have entered international markets, looking to capture digital-native audiences from pay-TV and other established SVOD services. Eleven Sports’ demise in the UK provides the best case study for how streaming services can struggle when entering a market with insufficient rights offerings. A failure to secure carriage deals with traditional broadcasters was detrimental to Eleven’s  offering as rightsholders (demanding reach) rescinded the deals, leaving the service only with non-exclusive La Liga to entice UK subscribers to its platform. Complicating the rights challenge is the essentially different demographic compositions of pay-TV and sports SVOD subscribers, and the specific behaviours these valuable audiences display when considering how to address them. 

Key Findings

  • ESPN+ leads            SVOD services in English-speaking markets                       weekly active usage (WAU) penetration                       subscription penetration in            2018
  •            of consumers rank sports as their most preferred genre for a video service
  • Eleven Sports            the UK has the lowest            penetration for local sports services                       and even lower subscription penetration                       in            2018
  • DAZN in            had WAU penetration of            in            and subscription penetration of           
  • Consumers with            or more digital subscriptions decreased            a peak of            in            2017                       in            2018
  • The decline            binge viewing as an activity                       in            2016 to            in            2018            the attention economy has reached            peak
  •            year olds accounted for            of sport SVOD service WAUs in            2018, with usage still a niche behaviour and at only            penetration for the same demographic            year olds only account for            of those who consume sports on TV; however with            penetration the activity is still six times more common than sports consumption on SVOD            of WAU for ESPN+ in the US,            of Kayo Sports WAUs in Australia and            for DAZN in Canada are all under            years old
  • Males are            likely to pay for sports            services, accounting for            of those            subscribed in            2018
  •            of cord-cutters engage with sports SVOD services, compared with just            of pay-TV subscribers

Companies and brands mentioned in this report:  AFL, Amazon Prime Video, Amazon, Apple, AppleTV+, Crave TV, DAZN, Disney, Disney+, Eleven Sports, ESPN+,            Hulu, Kayo Sports, KFC Big Bash, La Liga, NBA, Netflix, NFL, NHL, Now TV, NRL, UFC, Warner Media.