NBA, EPL fans most open to paying for TV sport

Which Sport codes are open to the idea of paying for Sport on TV?

rymg% of ‘almost always’ viewers who already or would like to pay to access sport on demand

21% of American NBA fans in Australia are open to the idea of paying for sports on subscription TV, according to a recent survey.

12.25 million Australians aged 14+ (63%) have at least one sport that they ‘almost always’ watch on TV, and over 1 in 6 of these dedicated fans either already pay to watch sporting events on demand—or say they would like to, according to Roy Morgan Research.

While 23% of American NBA fans already pay for sport on demand,25% of EPL fans outrank them, 16% of whom are open to the idea.

By contrast the numbers for NRL, AFL and Tennis fans are much closer to the national average.

Already do:
NRL 11%
AFL 9%
Tennis 7%

Would like to do:
NRL 11%
AFL 11%
Tennis 10%

Tim Martin, General Manager, Media, Roy Morgan Research, says: “The proportion of sports viewers who say they already or would like to pay to access sporting events on demand has actually been fairly static over the past five years, rising from 15% of Australians who ‘almost always’ watch one or more sports on TV in 2011 to 17% now.

“Of course, much of this slow growth would have to do with the limited options for any kind of on-demand access to sport in Australia. Foxtel and free-to-air TV networks have long dominated the local broadcasting scene, and their tenure has perhaps stunted the development of pay-per-view or per-sport models even as fixed broadband, the NBN, and 4G mobile networks delivered new possibilities for how and where consumers could watch what they wanted, when they wanted, on the device they wanted.

“As we’ve previously reported, EPL viewers are already well ahead of the curve when it comes to streaming content on computer and mobile devices. They’re also more likely to be planning to switch provider for their fixed broadband or mobile phone services. Now, as this research shows, the EPL’s biggest fans in Australia (who say they almost always watch it) are the most likely of any sport’s to have already paid to watch sports on demand.

“It is game on for the telcos, streamers, media owners and the sports bodies themselves as to whom they partner with, how they commercialise content and what this does for their core business whether it’s selling data, handsets, subscriptions or ads.”

2 Responses

  1. Firstly, it’s not a terribly good graph (by accident or design), and the presser also downplays what I see as the most interesting bit: that while 63% of Australians 14+ ‘almost always’ watch TV sport, only 17% do pay or would pay to watch it on demand.

    And the kicker: overall, only 13% of Australians 14+ either do pay or would pay.

    That also sort of flies in the face of the conventional TV wisdom that we’re a nation of sports-lovers who’ll watch regardless of what/how/when it’s on, and the conventional PayTV wisdom that the majority subscribe because of access to sport.

  2. I find it a little hard to believe that only 9% of AFL fans pay to watch AFL on TV – unless that doesn’t include foxtel?

    If it doesn’t include foxtel and is exclusively IPTV only then that would make a bit more sense as the IPTV offering is tablet/phone only, limited to 600kbps SD quality, and if the game is on FTA, it’s the FTA feed you receive, including ads.

    In the 2017 rights deal with foxtel, does the AFL have the rights to open up it’s “watch afl” service to Australians? I notice that from 2017, AFL matches will screen on foxtel go on PCs and Macs, which is a good start in the right direction.

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