Mobile sports consumption now at 35% – report


Credit: NBC Sports

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 (s FB) being the most popular
Screen shot of social networks and sports
  • 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.


Jeff Cottrell

Sports betting has cemented its feet on the web now. It has been over a decade now that the Sports betting websites are there on the internet. There are many sports betting websites on the internet over which you can bet easily rather than going to other cities or go out in search of a sports bookie.

Keith Hawn

Jeff: does the research clarify “consumption” ? at one point in your summary it seems like they are talking about watching a game, in another you use the word “following” – the latter could imply looking at scores on ESPN or commenting on boards. Big difference to monetization?


Great follow-up to “Captive Audience” by Susan Crawford.


I invite you to provide a link that works. I do not have cable…

Nicholas Paredes

It has been fun trying to locate streams of the Stanley Cup finals. The sales and advertising opportunities are enormous. Even a pay per view would be fine in these situations.

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