TDG: Viewing of Broadband-Distributed Sports to Grow Ten-Fold Between 2015 and 2025

TDG: Viewing of Broadband-Distributed Sports to Grow Ten-Fold Between 2015 and 2025

 Fueled by a Passion for Live Sports and the Growing Availability of OTT TV Services, Consumers Will Increasingly Engage Sports on Broadband Platforms

Whether measured in ratings or revenue, TV coverage of live amateur and professional sporting events is a defining part of the television experience. According to new TDG research, adult broadband users spend one-fifth of their weekly TV time viewing live sports. As broadband distribution begins to play a more important role in feeding this demand, weekly per-capita viewing of OTT TV sports will grow from just under 25 minutes in 2015 to more than four hours in 2025. These and other insights are discussed in TDG’s new report, Game On! The Future of Sports Video Viewing, 2015-2025.


“Most TV viewers enjoy live sports,” says Joel Espelien, TDG Senior Advisor and author of the TDG’s new report. “There are, however, certain segments that do so more than others. This reality was not lost on Dish, who positioned ESPN front and center in its new ‘skinny’ Sling TV broadband service.”

TDG research finds that 72% of adult broadband users consider themselves avid fans of least one sports genre (that is, ranking their fan status ‘7’ or higher on a 10-point scale. One-fifth (19%) of ABUs are avid fans of six or more sports, a rate that swells to one-third (33%) among 25-34s. These consumers spend significant time and money feeding their sports habits, forming a group of passionate and knowledgeable fans that is the mainstay of ticket sales and multisport networks like ESPN.

That said, the majority of adults tend to fall somewhere in the middle, with 52% of ABUs being avid fans of 1-5 different sports. This segment constitutes the modern mainstream sports fan whom, because of time, tradition, the popularity of hometown teams, or other factors are thus more selective in the sports they choose to follow. As Espelien notes, “It is safe to say that the NFL and Olympics do well among this group, as do other traditionally mainstream sports like MLB and the NBA. This group also includes those who are fans of the same sport at both the college and professional level (e.g., college football and the NFL count as two sports).”

TDG’s new report, Game On! The Future of Sports Video Viewing, 2015-2025, is a must-read for operators, networks, and sports rights buyers seeking to understand the future of televised live sports. It includes the first publicly-available forecast of the future of sports viewing that includes broadband-based consumption. The report:

  • Discusses the dominant role that sports plays in the legacy TV market, as well as the growing use of sports-related apps and websites;
  • Goes beyond ratings or streaming counts of individual sporting events to understand the extent to which sports will transition to a TV-as-an-app platform and at what pace;
  • Offers long-term forecasts for sports video viewing on both broadband and legacy TV platforms; and
  • Provides strategic recommendations to key industry stakeholders on how best to respond and adapt to these trends.

TDG’s new report is now available for public purchase by contacting our sales team at or 469-287-8050.

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