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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carriage deals with traditional broadcasters was detrimental to Eleven’s  offering as rightsholders (demanding reach) rescinded the deals, leaving the service only with non-exclusive La Liga to entice UK subscribers to its platform.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 sports SVOD services in English-speaking markets with        weekly active usage (WAU) penetration and        subscription penetration in        2018
  •        of consumers rank sports as their most preferred genre for a video service
  • Eleven Sports in the UK has the lowest WAU penetration for local sports services at        and even lower subscription penetration at        in        2018
  • DAZN in Canada had WAU penetration of        in        2018, and subscription penetration of       
  • Consumers with three or more digital subscriptions decreased from a peak of        in        2017 to        in        2018
  • The decline of binge viewing as an activity from        in        2016 to        in        2018 highlights the attention economy has reached the 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 more likely to pay for sports SVOD services, accounting for        of those who 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.

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