Ministry of Sport

Sports Organisations Need To Diversify ‘Beyond Pay-TV’ To Grow Audience, Study Shows

The 2019 Global Video Trends Report, by cloud video specialists Grabyo, has highlighted that younger generations are increasingly favouring digital and social video content over linear broadcast TV.

The research suggests that global sports organisations should move away from pay-TV exclusivity to maximise their audience growth as direct-to-consumer (DTC) and premier social media options continue to grow in demand.

Of those surveyed, 52 per cent of the bell-weather ‘Millennial’ consumers stated that they would consider cancelling pay-TV subscriptions altogether within the next five years.

The report states: ‘The move to online streaming and social media does not signal the immediate death of TV, but it does signal what needs to change.

‘Consumers want video services which are low-cost, available everywhere with a usage model that allows audiences to escape the TV schedule if they choose.’

Of the primary markets surveyed, the US, the UK, Australia, and Europe, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram lead the way, with data in Europe indicating that social video has higher cut through and usage compared to OTT.

The data also shows that social video is accelerating the adoption of OTT services, with 42 per cent of consumers between the ages of 18 to 25 stating that they have looked to purchase online subscriptions to a streaming platform after watching social ads.

YouTube remains the sports rights holders optimum platform, but three in ten users say that they want to see more in-depth sports highlights on the content platform.

The report also claims that the majority of casual viewers favour digital platforms, with 25 per cent of the market electing to view video content on a smartphone.

Across all genres, 50 per cent of the consumer market pays for a video service online, versus 42 per cent who purchase pay-TV video content, with sport representing the most-viewed video content for an average 46 per cent of the total marketplace.

The report added: ‘Much of the commentary about changing media viewing habits has focused on younger segments, the millennials and Gen Z.

‘The results of this study show that mobile, social and online viewing is not restricted to younger demographic groups.’

‘All audiences under the age of 50 show a preference for OTT and mobile video.

‘Flexibility, price and quality matter to consumers, something which is harder to deliver with the restrictions of linear TV.’

Download the full report here.

Shaun Carney

Shaun Carney