Sports TV Viewers Remain Major Customers Of Pay TV Industry

Regular or semi-regular sports TV viewers remain major customers of traditional pay TV, and those who hardly watch sports on TV are bigger cord-cutters/cord-nevers, according to a survey.

Ninety percent of sports fans who watch sports regularly subscribe to pay TV, compared to only 67% of those TV viewers who rarely watch sports, according to an Altman Vilandrie & Co. online survey of more than 5,000 U.S. respondents conducted in August.

Of those who watch sports on TV, the survey says, 79% are traditional pay TV providers with 11% buying virtual pay TV services. Only 7% of these regular sports fans are cord-cutters, while 3% are "cord-nevers."

Cord-cutters are defined by analysts as those have departed from the traditional pay TV industry. Cord-nevers are defined as those who have never had a cable, satellite or telco-based pay TV service. The survey defines regular sports viewers who watch sports, daily, weekly, or monthly and non-sports viewers who watch occasionally or never.



By way of comparison, currently, rare sports TV viewers are more inclined to be cord-cutters/cord-nevers -- 18% are cord-cutters, while 16% are cord-nevers.

They are also buying into traditional pay TV as lower levels than regular sports viewers, with 61% of those non-sports viewers subscribing to traditional pay TV providers, and 6% subscribing to virtual pay TV services.

Among 21 leagues and sports, the survey finds, the NFL is the top sport to watch -- with 62% of all fans selecting it as “a favorite” and 30% who choose it as their “top favorite” league.

The NFL skews older among viewers 45-54 (34%) and viewers 55 and older (31%) giving the sport its “top favorite” results, with Major league Baseball in second place -- at 16% and 21%, respectively.

Young 18-24 TV sports viewers place the NBA as their favorite (22%) with the NFL coming in second (17%) and Major League Baseball (7%).

Slightly more than half of respondents under the age of 24 say they have been frequent or occasional sports gamblers, compared to 17% of respondents over the age of 55 and older.

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