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Football still king of sports programming

Accounts for 27 per cent of sport content on generalist channels

Football is still king for sports audiences, according to research released by Médiamétrie.

The analyst said that while TV is increasingly challenged by non-linear ways of consumption, sports and live television are still “a perfect match”.

In the 45 countries studied in the survey, football accounted for a large part of the sports programming on generalist channels: 27 per cent on average, but more than 70 per cent in countries such as Portugal and Russia.

Médiamétrie added that the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers performances also offered an insight into football’s popularity. In Belgium for instance, all seven matches in the Red Devils’ campaign that took place between September 2016 and June 2017 were part of the top ten best sports audiences for 2017. In Croatia, the national team qualifiers scored an average market share of 43.7 per cent on HTV1 & HTV2.

European football also did well when exported. In Indonesia, the tenth best sports audience of this year was the UEFA Champions League final between Real Madrid and Juventus on 3rd June, with an average of 2.9 million viewers.

Yassine Berhoun, sports director at Médiamétrie EurodataTV Worldwide, said: “In 2017 again, a number of sports programmes have gathered significant audiences in spite of the transfer of rights to pay-TV. Consequently, alternative competitions have successfully been broadcast on public channels like the Women Euro in the Netherlands for example.”