Discontent among sports fans over media fragmentation, study finds

By NewscastStudio

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Sports fans worldwide struggle to access the content they crave, suggests Altman Solon’s 2023 Global Sports Media Survey.

Amidst evolving media consumption habits, the research delves deep into the present challenges and potential solutions in the sports media distribution ecosystem.

With responses from over 2,500 sports aficionados spanning eight major global markets, a significant 59% expressed difficulty in locating or affording the sports content they desire. Concurrently, 56% said they would consume more sports video content should it be readily available.

Historically dominated by TV networks and Pay TV entities, the terrain of sports broadcasting has witnessed streaming services making assertive strides. Amazon’s broadcasting rights agreement with the NFL and Apple TV+’s collaboration with Major League Baseball highlight this shift. Simultaneously, for U.S. spectators, there’s enhanced accessibility to international leagues like the English Premier League, alongside domestic women’s leagues, including the WNBA, facilitated by both cable and streaming platforms.

However, this plethora of options doesn’t necessarily equate to seamless access. Among those who face challenges accessing live sports content, 35% find the associated costs prohibitive. Another 30% are unsure about the right channels, while 28% are confused about the apt platforms.

“It is important to recognize that the way fans consume sports is much different from a generation ago or even at the end of the past decade,” said Altman Solon Director Matt Del Percio.

“While historically fandom was defined by the local team(s) you follow – and often the team your parents followed – modern sports fans are now more making decisions based on athletes’ on-field performance and off-the-field personalities or social media presence.”

Altman Solon further enhanced their study by polling over 150 global sports media executives. These industry leaders identified content aggregation (65%), enhanced content promotion (64%), and more flexible pricing (58%) as pivotal in amplifying global content accessibility.

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Another intriguing trend spotlighted was the evolving nature of sports fandom. Over half of the executives (56%) anticipate a steady shift towards a more dynamic and athlete-centered fandom. This is in contrast to the conventional patterns of unwavering loyalty to specific teams.

Additional insights from the consumer survey segment include:

  • 57% of global fans engage in online activities while viewing sports.
  • Younger fans spend 1.5x more time online than their older counterparts, underscoring the digital content imperative for sports media.
  • Predictions indicate a 16% decline in average TV viewing hours per week by 2040.

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