More Sports Fans Watching March Madness Games on the Internet, CEA Study Finds

Tournament Drives Sales of One Million New HDTVs
ARLINGTON, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sports fans are using the
Internet at greater rates than ever before to watch games and follow their
favorite sports teams, according to a new study by the Consumer Electronics
Association (CEA). The Third Annual Sports and Technology Study: Future of Sports
Content Consumption, conducted by CEA and the Sports Video Group (SVG), shows
that nearly four in ten (38%) sports fans will download and watch a game at no
cost over the next two years, an increase of 10 percent from 2007. Networks are
offering fans the ability to watch games online – including the NCAA Men’s
Basketball Tournament – in response to fans’ increased appetite for online
sports.

“CBS and the NCAA, with their March Madness on Demand
package, recognize the importance of providing consumers with sports content
when and where they want it,” says Jason Oxman, senior vice president, industry
affairs, CEA. “As both broadband and cell phone penetration steadily increase,
we saw at the International CES that consumers continue to migrate their entertainment
viewing to new platforms, and CEA believes the sports consumption landscape
will continue to evolve in these new and exciting ways.”

The CEA study also found that sports fans are going online
for information, statistics and highlights when they are geographically
separated from their favorite team. Four out of ten (41%) basketball fans say
their favorite team is located in a different city compared with just one in
four (26%) who say they live in the same city as their favorite team.

A majority of
U.S. households (55%) also have
broadband Internet access, making it easier to access their teams’ information
and watch game highlights. The study found that more than half of HDTV-owning
sports fans, or those sports fans intending to buy an HDTV, will watch
highlight clips online, from sources such as YouTube or espn.com.

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is also helping drive
sales of HDTVs. This year’s tournament will help inspire the purchase of nearly
1 million HDTVs (934,000), which represents slightly more than $1 billion in
retail sales.
Methodology

CEA ’s “Third Annual Sports
and Technology ” survey was fielded to an online
national sample of 2,278
U.S.
adults during the period January 14 – 21, 2008.
Results are weighted to reflect national online demographics. The margin of
sampling error at 95% confidence for aggregate results is +/- 2.1%. It was
designed and formulated by CEA and SVG. The complete study is available free to
CEA and SVG member companies. Non-members will be able to purchase the study at
www.eBrain.org.

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