As the value of sports keeps soaring, leagues are chopping media rights into ever-smaller parcels and selling them at handsome prices — witness this month’s $1 billion deal between the NFL and Verizon to stream games to smartphones.
Against this backdrop, it’s worth noting an annual report, conducted by Kantar Sports Media and Sporting News Media, that shows a rise in mobile consumption and other trends in sports media. Here are some highlights:
- Thirty-five percent of America’s 170 million fans are using mobile devices to follow sports, which is up from 21 percent in 2011 and reflects overall web trends; 23 percent of these are using mobile to watch video
- Fifteen percent of people who watched live games online admitted to using “unofficial” (read: pirated) streaming sites
- Only seven percent of fans are watching through connected TVs, including gaming consoles, but this number consists heavily (47 percent) of fans between 18 and 24
- Twenty-five percent of fans follow sports on a social media platform, with Facebook being the most popular
- Overall, men follow sports more than women but females make up 51 percent of sports fans on social media
My quick takeaway is that the mobile and social media numbers seem low, but I’m probably underestimating the overall proportion of older Americans who prefer to watch sports on TV without fiddling without their phone at the same time. It may also reflect the leagues’ ongoing reluctance to make games available online.
The report was put out by an industry group and was compiled through online surveys (so take it with a grain of salt); you can find more here.