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Sports content is the best antidote to cord-cutting in the US: Study
MUMBAI: Among the US consumers who have cut the pay-TV cord within the last two years but who express any interest in returning to pay-TV, two out of five (39 per cent) say sports channels are a reason to return, according to a new survey by Frank N. Magid Associates.
Additionally, nine out of 10 (88 per cent) sports fans say they watch sports on a television set, with broadcast networks leading the way at 73 per cent of respondents, followed by cable sports networks (62 per cent) and general entertainment networks (60 per cent).
Nevertheless, a growing number of sports fans are watching sports on the Internet: Nearly two of five (37 per cent) of all sports fans say they watch sports streamed online “often,” while nearly three in five (57 per cent) fans say they watch sports online in any way at all. These consumers typically gravitate to available larger digital screens: Computers led among 37 per cent of respondents, followed by over-the-top (OTT) video delivery to a TV (26 per cent), tablets (25 per cent) and smartphones (25 per cent).
These are among the findings of a recently completed study by Frank N. Magid Associates for One World Sports, ‘America’s Network for Global Sports’. The survey was conducted during summer 2015 among 2,883 pay-TV and 317 broadband-only respondents across the US reflecting an expansive array of 18-to-64-year-old consumers.
One World Sports president, CEO Alexander Brown said, “Sports remains the most DVR-proof form of video content. The excitement, immediacy and community around sports contests demand live viewing, whether that viewing takes place via an antenna, or a pay-TV provider, or via a live web stream. Whatever the format, the findings support that people want to watch sports live, and on the best – typically largest and most crisp – available screen.
“The data about digital viewing is consistent with what we’re seeing throughout the television and digital-video industries. Digital video providers, whether they’re targeting their services for OTT delivery or mobile devices, are actively seeking sports content to feed their new services and attract consumers.”
The main survey findings about cord-cutting are:
- 25 per cent of all broadband-only consumers cut their cords within the last two years – but more than half (51%) have been cord-cutters for more than five years, or “cord-nevers” who have not subscribed to pay-TV;
- Women are as likely as men to have cut the cord within the past two years, at 25% each;
- Millennials (Adults 18-34) make up the majority (52%) of cord cutters over the past two years. Most (58%) of all cord cutting Millennials have cut the cord within the past three years.
Survey participants also were provided details about One World Sports and the global sports carried on the network – including baseball from Japan, basketball from China, hockey from Europe, cricket from England and soccer from the UK, Europe and Asia – and gave these responses:
- Among all females aged 18-34, 16 per cent said they are sports fans and 21 per cent said that they would watch a network like One World Sports;
- Among broadband-only females aged 18-34, 15 per cent said that they are sports fans and 20 per cent said that they would watch a network like One World Sports;
- The portion of males aged 18-34, overall and broadband-only, who identified themselves as sports fans as well as potential viewers of One World Sports, were roughly the same across the board, at approximately 28% apiece;
- 80 per cent of likely sports package cancelers said they would be less likely to cancel if ONE World Sports were added to their sports package. Nearly all (83 per cent) said they are interested in four or more of the network’s programs;
- 49 per cent of recent cord cutters said they would be attracted back to the cord to watch a network like One World Sports.”Among the findings, it was particularly gratifying to see that One World Sports over-indexes sports in general as a lure back to pay-TV for recent cord-cutters. Since the majority of cord-cutters are Millennials, this response supports our view that younger Americans are not only increasingly multicultural, but are ready to embrace global TV content such as sports from around the world,” Brown noted.