Most fans prefer watching sports via streaming than pay TV, survey shows

Euro 2020 - Final - Fans gather for Italy v England
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Euro 2020 - Final - Fans gather for Italy v England - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - July 11, 2021 England fans watch the match on a mobile phone outside Wembley Stadium Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith

July 21, 2021

MILAN (Reuters) – Most sports fans would rather watch live matches and events on streaming platforms than on pay-TV broadcasters, preferring the more flexible pricing and greater accessibility of streaming, a survey showed on Wednesday.

Conducted by live video production firm Grabyo, the study showed 79% of sports fans across the world would only watch live events on online streaming platforms, such as DAZN, ESPN+ and Kayo Sports, if they could.

Since 2019, pay-TV subscriptions for sports channels have dropped 9% globally, while 65% of sports fans are paying for online streaming services, compared with 46% in 2019, according to the survey of 15,000 people across 14 countries, including the United States, Japan, Italy and the United Kingdom.

“Video consumption has increased exponentially in the last year”, said Grabyo Chief Executive Gareth Capon.

“Consumers have had more time at home, and as a result they have branched out to other sports, leagues and types of content than they would usually watch”.

According to the report’s findings, the broadcast TV market will only have a 28% share of global sports customers by 2026, down from 49% currently and 54% in 2019.

(Reporting by Elvira Pollina; Editing by Mark Potter)