Commentary

40% Of Consumers Willing To Pay To Watch Sports

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Across 14 countries, soccer is the game most consumers say they like to watch at 28%, followed by the Olympics, tennis, athletics and basketball and motor racing.  The specific sports leagues and competitions fans are most willing to pay for follows the same ranking, with UEFA Champions League coming out on top. However, enjoying a sport and paying to watch it are not the same, says the report.

In new research, Ampere Analysis polled 28,000 internet users across 14 markets to evaluate their willingness to pay for sports content. Of the 42% that enjoy watching sport, the vast majority would be willing to pay regularly to watch at least one of their favorite events. With interests ranging from soccer to the Olympics, tennis to motor racing, basketball, athletics and cycling, the report asks “… are broadcasters and channels missing out on opportunities to further monetize sport?...”

% of Internet Users Willing To Pay to Watch Competition Across 14 Countries

Competion

Enjoy Watching

Willing To Pay

UEFA CL

19.2%

8.8%

Summer Olympics

15.0

5.3

Wimbledon

9.4

2.7

Formula One

8.6

3.5

NBA

7.5

3.5

Tour de France

6.7

1.9

US Open

6.7

1.6

Moto GP

5.1

1.8

Boxing

4.0

1.4

Handball Euro

3.1

0.8

Six Nations

2.2

0.6

Golf-Masters

2.0

0.6

The Ashes

1.5

0.6

Source: Ampere Analysis, November 2017     

The analysis reveals that older consumers are more willing to pay for domestic competitions, with younger consumers showing greater propensity to pay for niche leagues, says the report. For example, in the US, consumers aged 35 and over are more likely to pay for the National Football League (NFL) at 18% vs 13% for younger consumers. However, at 10%, younger consumers (aged under 35) are more likely to pay to watch the National Basketball Association league (NBA) than those aged over 35 (6%). It’s the same picture for UEFA Champions League (6% vs 1%) and the English Premier League EPL (5% vs 2%).

Willingness To Spend By Sport

  • UEFA events, cricket, martial arts and motor racing may have smaller fan bases than the national leagues, but there is an audience willing to pay to watch them
  • Although not everyone would be willing to pay to watch the Olympics, there is a substantial viewer base which makes charging to view the Games a viable option for broadcasters and channels, for the parts of this global event which can be taken pay-only
  • The appetite to pay for both golf and rugby is more variable, and hugely dependent on the profile of the sport in each of the 14 markets surveyed. Even for the high-profile Rugby Six Nations tournament, the analysis suggests many rugby fans are unwilling to pay to view.

 

Ampere’s Research Analyst Alexios Dimitropoulos, concludes:

Our research suggests that the majority of sports fans are willing to pay to enjoy their favorite games and leagues on TV. However, we see different levels of willingness to pay for domestic and international competitions, and mass and niche sports by market.

There are also some global flagship events, particularly those that have always been free to watch like the Olympics and FIFA World Cup, where there is currently more reluctance to pay.

Broadcasters will need to proceed with caution on events that are currently free as they look for more ways to monetise sport on a pay TV basis.”

 

 

 

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