US sports fans keep faith in programming via linear TV | Media Analysis | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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Despite the relentless rise of streaming in the country, it would appear that not all TV viewers are cutting the cord or migrating 100% to online platforms, indeed, says research from Caravan, US sports fans for one are overwhelmingly watching live sports programming via linear TV.
NFL Screach Atlanta 3Sep2021
The study from the online omnibus survey from media and marketing services company Engine Insights queried 1,000 adult respondents selected from opt-in panels to determine which live sports consumers enjoyed most, as well as their preferred mode of watching them. The results were also weighted to US Census data to be demographically representative.

Of those surveyed, it was revealed that the average US adult regularly watched 2.7 different sports leagues for 5.6 hours per week throughout the year. During autumn, when the most popular sports (the NFL and college football) are in season, the average jumps up to 6.3 hours per week. Contrary to popular beliefs though, plenty of live sports content is being consumed during the spring and summer, just not quite as much as during autumn. The NFL was by far the most popular sport to watch live with 42% of US adults watching. College football is the second most popular at 27%. The next most popular is the NBA (25%), the MLB (23%), college basketball (20%).

70% of US adults say that they regularly watch live sports and linear TV reigns supreme for 71% of those surveyed. But this number is not as strong among Gen Z and Millennials. Just under two-fifths (39%) of Gen Z and 41% of Millennials say that they primarily use one or more streaming platforms to watch live sports.

The most popular streaming services for consumers that primarily stream sports is Amazon Prime and just over a quarter (26%) of streamers and 20% of linear TV users agreed that they have issues with picture quality/lag when watching live sports. Just over half (53%) of live sports streamers often stream sports on their mobile/tablet/laptop, significantly higher than 31% of linear TV users. Just over two-fifths (42%) of linear TV users agreed that live sports were the primary reason that they have not used streaming more for their live sports content.

While two-thirds of streamers said that they often use a second screen while watching sports, this compared with only 54% for linear TV users. In addition, 62% of respondents thought advertising during live sports was repetitive while two-thirds thought there were too many ads during live sports.

Commenting on the findings, Caravan noted that live sports has remained the last bastion of linear television. It warned that once consumers widely make the jump to streaming for live sports, there will be little else, other than the inertia of older generations, to keep linear TV afloat. It added that while younger generations have shifted and will continue to shift to streaming, it also appeared that there will remain a solid base of older consumers who want to watch sports via linear TV.