Sports programming and the ways in which it is consumed are creating new opportunities for sports properties, investors and media partners, says the 2022 Global Sports Survey by Altman Solon.
Growth areas include womens sports and new media technologies that include NFTs, virtual reality and augmented reality; which “enhance the viewer experience and have the potential to create deeper connections to clubs and leagues.”
Fan engagement is evolving
Among those surveyed, watching game clips on social media came in a close second behind watching ‘live games’ on pay TV or through streaming. In many markets, highlights viewed via social media was very popular. Altman Solon concludes that sports video providers must balance serving traditional fans with attracting new fans that prefer short-form content.
Those who prefer to watch ‘snackable’ content, as opposed to live matches, ranged from 18% in Argentina and 20% in the UK, to 46% in Korea and 48% in UAE. The US came in at 27%
Advanced technologies going mainstream
For those who still think that they are ‘fringe’ phenomenon, more than half of sports viewers who own VR devices were very- or somewhat-interested in the US, UK, Germany, France and Italy
Similarly, the percentage interested in using cryptocurrency to buy access to sporting events or to purchase digital sports collectibles was significant; with nearly a quarter of Americans expressing interest
“With the sports industry evolving due to these innovations in technology and changes in fandom, significant opportunities exist for leagues and their partners and investors and those that best adapt to these changes will have a leg up on their competitors,” said Altman Solon.
The survey gauged sports interest, viewership and preferences, willingness to pay for sports programming, as well as international fandom of top global leagues from more than 17,000 respondents across 17 countries in North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia-Pacific. The survey was conducted in July – August 2022.
Additional insights from the survey will be published this fall, said Altman Solon.
Download Altman Solon’s 2022 Global Sports Survey (Registration form)
Why it matters:
Piracy Monitor suggests that Altman Solon’s findings could also inform anti-piracy strategies and priorities. New opportunities enabled by advanced technologies will add to the already enormous values in the sports media industry. Conversely, piracy will detract from those opportunities.
While the Altman Solon report focuses on sports programming, creators and distributors of video programming in general are also wise to monitor these trends for potential avenues that pirates could pursue to steal programming and services.
While the report documents that the number of sports viewers overall has grown over the past two years, it shouldn’t be a huge surprise, since most sports leagues placed their schedules on hold during the Covid pandemic. Early in the pandemic, much of the available programming was from the archives, or originated from smaller markets that many sports enthusiasts don’t follow