In its Sports and Technology Study, 6th Edition, the Consumer Electronics Asssociation (CEA), finds that 32% of sports fans reported an interest in using their mobile devices to stream live sports. Television remains the most popular method of watching sports (90%). 40% of respondents had accessed content digitally in the past 12 months using their laptops, smartphones or tablets, whilst 19% had consumed sports through Facebook or Twitter.
Of those planning to use mobile devices in the future, 28% watch short clips using their phones, whilst 22% use a tablet to view an event or game. Only 21% download a relevant app and just 12% pay to watch a streamed match.
Plans to access sports via a mobile device
Interestingly though, sports app usage increased by 65% last year, according to findings by Flurry. The sports apps category tripled, whilst time spent using football apps shot up to 250%. Fans report they use their mobile devices to track play-by-play.
Sports apps usage tripled last year
In line with these findings, HBO recently launched its “Over the Top” streaming service and CBS announced a new web-streaming service, signifying a shifting trend in the market and network realisation that mobile devices are becoming an ever more prominent feature in peoples’ lives.
Steve Koenig, senior director of market research, CEA says:
“The experience of being a sports fan has never been better thanks to the vast array of technologies and platforms delivering sports content today. Sports fans not only enjoy watching games via mobile platforms, they say they’re willing to pay for more dynamic, mobile-accessible sports content.”
The CEA report also found that super-fans were more likely to adopt new technology early on (42%) as opposed to regular fans.
“Technology has long fostered greater engagement between sports and fans. Today’s mobile technologies – combined with social platforms and apps – are building a connected community of fans; enriching the fan experience for all.”
Meanwhile, eMarketer predicts that 195.6 million US viewers will stream digitally this year, making up 61.3% of the population and 77.3% of internet users. 89.7 million users are expected to watch content on their phones and 88.0 million using their tablets, making up 28% of the US population.