Sports streaming is a growing market, but don’t take our word for it. Some of the biggest media conglomerates, including Disney (via ESPN), Fox and Warner Bros. are partnering to launch a new sports streaming app that combines the respective companies’ rights to certain leagues and games. Many other streaming platforms are also streaming sports which is where you can watch this year’s Super Bowl matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers.
In addition, Peacock, Hulu, Max and a variety of others also offer live sports as part of their streaming packages.
So, it’s no shock that sports viewers are ditching their cable boxes and antennae for smart TVs, mobile phones and laptops, according to Nielsen data cited in a report from Fast Company.
According to the business news website, half of U.S. consumers who watched the Super Bowl last year tuned in via a cable box or antenna, but that figure is down 18% from the previous year. On the flipside, viewership of the Super Bowl on smart TVs and devices like phones and laptops through streaming services jumped by 75% and 57%, respectively.
The same trend is apparent in how NFL fans watch the regular season. This year, 55% watched it via a set top box or antenna, 16% watched it on a smart TV, and 13% watched regular season games on other internet connected devices. Last year, those figures were 61%, 12% and 11%, respectively, and 70%, 8% and 7% the year prior.
Out-of-home viewing remained at 13% in all three years.
According to Fast Company, the Nielsen data shows that younger generations gravitate toward smart TVs and other devices the most. Research shows that the portion of 18- to 34-year-olds who watched the Super Bowl at home via a cable box or an antenna fell to just 29% last year. That age group’s viewing of the big game on smart TVs and other devices each grew by more than 50% compared to the year prior.
It isn’t really news that consumers are moving away from cable and pay TV services to streaming, but the live sports market is one area where it’s simply easier to find a game on cable. However, this data suggests that without cable, sports fans are turning to streaming services to consume their favorite sports.
The sports streaming market is still very fragmented, with different sports streaming on different services, and some services offer just a handful of games. It can be confusing for the average consumer to find what they want to watch, and integrators can play a role in helping to curate that content for their customers.
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