• Research: NFL is Strongest For Live Sports Viewers On Devices

    Adobe Primetime and The Diffusion Group have released new research, finding among other things, that the NFL is the most popular sport to live stream on digital devices. The research surveyed 2,000 U.S. consumers, revealing viewership trends for live sports viewers or “LSVs” - adult broadband users that watch televised live sports on any screen including PCs, TVs, smartphones or tablets.

    The survey found that 37% of LSVs watch live sports on non-TV devices, with PCs used the most (cited by 27%), followed by smartphones (17%) and tablets (14%). Across all 3 of these devices, the NFL is the most popular of all sports. On PCs NFL is watched by 66% of LSVs, followed by Summer Olympics (59%) and NBA basketball (59%). On smartphones, NFL is watched by 70% of LSVs, then NBA (59%) and college basketball (52%). On tablets NFL is at 67%, followed by NBA (62%) and major league baseball (61%).

    Overall, the survey found that LSVs spend over one-quarter of all their TV time on live sports. Total TV time is 29 hours per week or 4.1 hours per day, with live sports accounting for 7.4 hours per week. 35-44 year-olds have the highest live sports viewership (8 hours per week), with 55-65 year-olds having the lowest (6.3 hours per week).

    The interest in live streaming NFL is supported by its broader popularity. The survey found that, using a 10 point scale (1 = definitely not a fan and 10 = you’re a super fan), 48% of LSVs describe themselves as a 9 or 10. Summer Olympics followed with 38% at 9 or 10, then MLB (31%), Winter Olympics (30%), College Football (30%) and NBA (29%).

    Despite 91% of LSVs using social media, just 32% of them are aware live sports are available on these platforms, with only 8% using social media this way. This is no doubt due to the still low level of live sports (as opposed to recaps or clips) being available on social platforms, and points out the potentially big opportunity social has to obtain streaming rights. Last season Twitter streamed the NFL Thursday Night games and Facebook in particular has been rumored to be bidding aggressively for sports rights where available.

    Yet another area of potential growth is TV Everywhere, which only 50% of LSVs said they were aware of, with just 21% actually using currently. TVE has been around for years, and since live sports are still primarily the province of broadcast and cable TV networks (which are included in the multichannel bundle), it’s a natural that TVE services should be used to extend the utility of the bundle.

    (Note if you’re interested in streaming sports, there’s still time to attend our Game On! Webinar today at 1pm ET, presented by Akamai. I’ll be joined by Colin Dixon (Chief Analyst and Founder, nScreenMedia), Clark Pierce (SVP, TV Everywhere and Special Projects at FOX Digital Consumer Group) and Chris Wagner (EVP and co-founder, NeuLion). We’ll be digging into all of the opportunities and challenges streaming sports presents, with each company highlighting best practices and success stories. Register now!