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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carriage deals with traditional broadcasters was detrimental to Eleven’s  offering as rightsholders (demanding reach) rescinded the deals, leaving the service only with non-exclusive La Liga to entice UK subscribers to its platform.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               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        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        year olds accounted for        of sport SVOD service WAUs in        2018, with usage still a niche behaviour and at only        penetration for the same        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        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               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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