Adobe Primetime, The Diffusion Group Present Survey Report on U.S. Sports Consumers

There was a survey conducted from 2,000 U.S. consumers this past July, 2017. Throughout the report, LSVs (live sports viewers) were defined as adult broadband users that watch televised live sports on any “screen” (e.g. PCs, TVs, smartphone, tablet).

NFL Football has the most enthusiastic fan base. Using a 10-point scale, where 1 means “definitely not a fan” and 10 means “you’re a super fan”, respondents were asked to rank their enthusiasm on a list of 15 sports.

For NFL Football, 48% of LSVs rank themselves a 9 or 10. Second was the Summer Olympics (38%), followed by MLB (31%), Winter Olympics (30%), College Football (30%), NBA Basketball (29%) During a regular season, NFL Football is most likely to be watched at least weekly by LSVs (62%), followed by Summer Olympics (40%) and College Football (39%).

Over one-fourth of overall TV time is devoted to live sports
On average, LSVs spend 29 hours per week (4.1 hours each day) watching television at home. Of this, over one-fourth (7.4 hours per week) of the time is spent watching live sports. This is highest among 35 to 44 year olds (8 hours/week) and lowest among 55 to 65 year olds (6.3 hours/week).

37 percent of LSVs watch live sports on non-TV devices
The largest is PCs and laptop, which is used by 27% of LSVs to watch sports. Of these viewers, NFL Football is the most widely viewed on a PC during a regular season (watched by 66%), as well as the most frequently viewed on a PC (28% weekly, 9% daily). Next is Summer Olympics (watched by 59%) and NBA Basketball (watched by 51%). Interestingly, 49% of LSVs on a PC “at least occasionally” view live sports with the audio turned off.

 Smartphones: 17% of LSVs view live sports on their smartphones. NFL Football is a popular and frequently viewed sport (watched by 70%), followed by NBA (59%) and College Basketball (52%).

Tablets: 14% of LSVs view live sports on their tablets. NFL Football tops the list (watched by 67%), followed by NBA (62%) and MLB (61%)

Social media presents opportunity for growth
91% of LSVs use social networks, with Facebook being most popular (used by 81%), followed by Twitter (40%) and Instagram (38%). However, only 32% of LSVs on social media are aware that live sports broadcasts are available on the platform, of which only 8% report using. Of those people, NFL Football is the most watched live sports (viewed by 86%), while NBA is watched more frequently (52% at least weekly, compared to 49% for NFL, 40% for MLB).

Free streaming services (“TV everywhere”) struggle with fan awareness
50% of LSVs are familiar with free streaming apps provided by their pay TV service, with 21% currently using these services. However, younger viewers (25 to 44 year olds) are more likely to be familiar with these services (60%).

Nearly half (49%) rank the availability of live college and professional sports as “strongly important” in their decision to use free streaming services.

Sports fans prefer less ads, drawn to better personalization
The number of ads generally have a negative influence on time spent watching televised sports; 29% of LSVs spent more time watching a game if there are fewer ads. 23% of LSVs view the relevance of ads as positive (e.g., the more relevant the ads, the more time they spend viewing).

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