The top 20 facts you need to know about sports OTT consumption in 2019


by Editorial Staff


by Editorial Staff

How do today’s viewers watch sport – and on which devices? How much are they willing to pay for their content? How does the way they watch content adapt throughout the season?

As part of research conducted by Deltatre for a recent white paper called Where the Money is Going: The Future of Sports Entertainment, we investigated the current state of play when it comes to how the world consumes sports content in 2019. 

Read on for our top 20 facts and figures.

How much fans are willing to pay: 

  • Over two-thirds of consumers pay up to $39 per month on sports content – with the remaining one-third willing to pay more.
  • The desire for cheaper, more flexible access to sports content is not only applicable to millennials or Gen Z, of which almost 80% of under 24 year olds indicate they currently pay less than $39 per month for sports content.
  • Only 27% of consumers over the age of 25 pay more than $39 per month for sports.
  • One-fifth of consumers pay nothing for sports content, indicative of rampant account sharing.
  • Today, mobile is one of the primary devices used to consume sports content, where 39% of users watch four hours or more of sports programming outside of the home.

How and where they watch: 

  • Research from Deltatre-powered OTT platforms indicates that the average number of devices linked to an individual account is 8.6.
  • ‘Mobile’ grows in the post-season (+7.8%), with a minor step back in the final weeks (-2.5%).
  • ‘Big Screen’ progressively grows, going from 19.4% during the regular season to 28.8% during the final stages as viewers seek to watch major games on as large a screen as possible.
  • During the regular season ‘desktop’ is the most used device type at 47.9%, serving almost half the total user base.

How fans engage with OTT:

  • OTT is growing – external research pegs a 49% increase in live streaming ‘plays’ of sports content year-on-year in 2018.
  • 79% want to be able to cancel their contract at any time.
  • 85% of consumers cite uninterrupted viewing experience as the most important component of consuming sports online.

How sports operators are reacting:

  • Global distributors of sports content (or ‘operators’) currently commit 15% of total budget to develop the OTT technology stack – worth over $6.8 billion by 2021 in the US.
  • Consumption of IP-delivered video across devices is on the rise, with a 53% increase year-on-year of minutes streamed.
  • Operators see a 24% increase in subscriptions following investment into UX.
  • 72% of sports fans view personalization as ‘important’.
  • 71% of sports fans crave ‘deeper immersion’ when watching live games.

Predictions for the future:

  • One-third of consumers expect 5G to have the ‘greatest impact’ on the sports viewing experience.
  • Over 40% expect their consumption to increase in the near future. This is particularly true for Gen Z, who currently account for 32% of the global population.
  • Only 15% of consumers believe the status quo of sports broadcast will remain the same over the next three years.

For more information and facts relating to how the world consumers sport content, you can download the white paper here.