Three-quarters of UK sports fans want to watch sport exclusively online | Media Analysis | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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With the UK hosting the Euro 2020 final, Wimbledon, the British Formula 1 grand prix and Open Gold in a week, it has been a hot summer for sport and British sports fans would eagerly pay for a streaming service that carries live and on-demand such content, a new Grabyo report finds.
grabyp sports trends 21 July 2021
In its 2021 Sports Video Trends Report, the cloud video platform provider surveyed over 15,000 consumers across 14 countries to identify the video viewing and purchasing habits of global consumers. It found that over one third of consumers are watching sport regularly across broadcast and digital platforms.

Yet sports fans were found to be growing impatient with the lack of streaming options, suggesting that fans either expect more sport to be available on streaming services in the future, or may choose not to watch live sport if it is only available through broadcast TV subscriptions.

In 2019, Grabyo found that 53% of global sports fans that pay for video services were planning to cut the cord and switch to streaming exclusively by 2024. In 2021, 45% of fans were only paying for streaming services. By 2026, Grabyo’s report suggests that the pay-TV market will only have a 28% customer share of global sports fans.

Moreover, in the UK, 73% of sports fans in the UK now want to watch sport exclusively on streaming services. Among those UK fans who would switch to streaming exclusively for sport, 47% would pay up to £10 per month for a dedicated service, while 38% would pay up to £25 per month. Globally, 79% of sports fans report they are ready to switch to online streaming only for sport.

Since 2019, broadcast TV subscriptions have fallen 9% among global sports fans, while online streaming subscriptions have increased 41%. The report also finds a high demand for free-to-access sports content across social media. With almost half of UK sports fans using social media platforms to access content, 55% want to see more live sport broadcast to social media, while 51% want more instant highlights and social videos.

However, sports fans were not yet entirely abandoning broadcast TV subscriptions because of the lack of sports available on streaming services. the report noted that the likes of NOW, BT Sport and Amazon Prime Video carry a variety of live sport in the UK market, but 58% of UK fans report they will not cut the cord because not enough content is available without a broadcast TV subscription.

Assessing the trends identified in its report, Grabyo said the findings reflected a global trend of consumers adopting streaming services in favour of broadcast TV subscriptions, which has been accelerated by stay-at-home safety measures during 2020. This led to consumers across age demographics experimenting with streaming services and being convinced by their value. Grabyo reports that half of global sports fans surveyed are over 45 years old.

“Broadcasters and media rights holders across sport must act fast to align their video strategies with what consumers are asking for”, commented Grabyo head of content Scott Lunn. “It’s not news that consumers want streaming options, but these findings show us that over the past year, the vast majority of fans who have experienced the flexibility and lower cost of streaming services are waiting for the sports industry to catch up. The likes of DAZN across Europe and ESPN+ in the US prove that if you build it, they will come. Those who don’t will be left behind, and fans will miss out on live sport.”