Sporting News Media Releases 2014 Know the Fan Report

Sporting News Media, a PERFORM Group company, which owns, the Sporting News (SN) ePlayer and the US edition of, has today released the fourth annual survey into US sports media consumption. The “US Know the Fan Report 2014,” produced in conjunction with Kantar Media and SportBusiness Group, finds that the percentage of sports fans consuming content on mobile devices has doubled and the percentage of fans following sports on social media has more than doubled since the report was first issued in 2011.

Sporting News Know The Fan

US Know the Fan Report 2014

The study, which surveyed over 1,000 American adults aged 18+ in February 2014, found nearly half of sports fans claim to use an Internet connected device at the same time as watching sports on TV. Most often these second-screen fans like to catch up on what’s happening with other games being played via live text commentary and live scores (44%), access non-sports related content (38%), communicate with friends via a second screen device about the sports event on TV (21%), watch clips and highlights of other games being played (20%) and post comments to social networking platforms about the game/event they’re watching (14%).


2014 has seen a significant increase in the number of fans following sports via social networking platforms where now over a third of fans consume sports on these platforms. Social networking fans are primarily younger fans, with 65% aged 18-34. Also fans typically use an average of two social networking platforms to follow sports. While Facebook (70%), YouTube (40%) and Twitter (24%) remain the most popular networks overall for fans to follow sports, fans are using them less as compared to last year to make use of newer social networking platforms such as Google+ (16%), Instagram (10%), Pinterest (8%) and Vine (6%).

While mobile consumption of sports content has doubled to 42% (from 21% in 2011), sports fans still primarily use a computer/laptop computer to access online sports content (65%), and just over one-third access content on these devices at least once a day (38%). Smartphones are more widely used (34%) than tablets (22%) for the second year running with smartphone usage still growing (up 10 percentage points) since 2013 and tablet usage remaining relatively flat (up 3 percentage points).

Among fans that watch sports online, live streaming remains the most popular content accessed (38%), followed by videos of game/event highlights (31%) and videos of sports news (27%). More than half of fans that watch videos of game/event highlights online (51%) and videos of player/manager/coach interviews (56%), do so via mobile device.

Sports news continues to be the most popular content read online (57%), followed by statistics and information (49%). This year has seen a greater demand for live text commentary of games (up 10 percentage points to 35%) as more fans are trying to keep up with events in real time.

The majority of sports fans that read sports news in text format online do so via a computer/laptop computer (82%). However, nearly half of fans that follow sports on mobile devices prefer apps to sites (44%) – and about 1 in 4 use only apps (24%).

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