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Broadcast remains the bedrock of live sport viewing

New market survey by analysts CSG looks at sports consumption in the UK and US

Sports fans still prefer to follow the action via a traditional cable or pay-TV subscription, according to new research by CSG.

The company has released The Digital Future Report: Sports Streaming Edition, which reveals 71 per cent of global consumers watch live sports through cable subscriptions, with digital channels like streaming or mobile trailing at 18 per cent and 11 per cent respectively. They prefer to enjoy the game at home (69 per cent) compared to bars/restaurants (14 per cent) or stadiums (8 per cent).

Other key findings of the report, which surveyed 2000 viewers in the US and UK, include:

  • When asked what types of services they would be willing to pay more for, among less intrusive ads, multi-game or split screen access; access to personalised content; access to extras such as stats or virtual-reality enabled camera angles, 64 per cent of respondents say that they would not pay extra for any of these features. Of those that would pay extra, less intrusive advertising was the most popular choice at 18.5 per cent.
  • If given the option to tailor their own personalised viewing package, consumers indicated a nearly equal preference for less intrusive advertisements (32 per cent), and a package tailored to only the teams they care about (28 per cent).
  • 42 per cent of viewers said they use social media and websites to keep tabs on other concurrent games and 37 per cent use these resources to find relevant stats.
  • 69 per cent of consumers say they are not interested at all in VR/AR to enhance the viewing at home experience. Only 11 per cent are very interested. 
  • Half of consumers (51 per cent) prefer easy payment by rolling charges onto a recurring monthly bill.

“It is a truly transformative time for live sports viewing. Shifting consumer expectations and mobile’s ability to add to the experience with apps, social media access and even augmented and virtual reality can bring the game to a new, more interactive level,” said Kent Steffen, president of digital services and OTT, CSG. 

“The key takeaway from this survey is that even though many live sports providers are continually building their fan experience, consumers already expect the full, personalised package at a cost that they are used to. Providers that can deliver and quickly experiment with new packages and services will succeed.”