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Broadcast, streaming, and D2C still not enough for hungry sports fans

Polling found that 56% of adult sport fans would watch more sports video content if it were available via TV or streaming, but they have trouble accessing it due to the fragmented nature of the sports video market, according to Altman Solon’s 2023 Global Sports Media Survey. “It seems counter-intuitive that the answer to the glut of sports content is more sports content, but sports fans are hungry for more,” declares David Dellea, Director at Altman Solon, the TMT strategy consulting firm.

“Often they cannot afford the costs of additional subscriptions, or get lost in the web of channels and streaming platforms providing content. Some form of industry consolidation seems likely, either through audience aggregation or content democratisation, which should be beneficial for both the industry and sports fans.”

Altman Solon has released the first dataset from the survey, which covered 2,500 sports fans from eight major global markets, with all samples representative of country demographics. Consumers were surveyed in the U.S., the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Mexico and China. The study was conducted in July-August this year. The consulting firm also spoke to 150 top sports executives to complete the new report.

The report paints a picture of a fragmented sports media landscape and reveals that 59% of sports fans currently have trouble finding or affording sports content they want to watch. Of the sports fans who say they have trouble accessing live sports content, 35% say it’s too expensive to access all the content they want, 30% don’t know which channels to watch, and 28% don’t know which platforms to watch.

The good news is that industry leaders covering this space are looking for solutions to these challenges. The poll of 150 executives, introduced to this year’s report to understand their priorities, identifies facilitating content aggregation (65%), improving content promotion (64%), and fostering flexible pricing (58%) as the top ways to make content more globally accessible.

The executives also pointed to a transformation in the way consumers view fandom, with more than half (56%) expecting a continued transition towards a more fluid and athlete-driven fandom, as opposed to loyally following the same teams.

Matt Del Percio, Director at Altman Solon, says: “It is important to recognise that the way fans consume sports is much different from a generation ago, or even at the end of the past decade. While historically, fandom was defined by the local team or teams you follow – and often the team your parents followed – modern sports fans are making more decisions based on athletes’ on-field performance and off-the-field personalities or social media presence.” Rapid TV News

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