Watching live TV is in decline with 60% of UK and US viewing time spent watching non-live content, according to a survey by FTI Consulting reported by Advanced Television. The 18-29 year old sector in particular favours non-live viewing of catchup TV, which is available on many mobile devices.
Sports content has seen an increase with 45% of viewers watching at least once a month and 25% at least once a week. Surprisingly, viewers on average watch three different sports, so it is not just fans following their teams. Major sporting events were followed in both countries. In the UK, football is the most popular sport, with tennis an unexpected second*, followed by F1 and rugby. Niche sports, such as hockey and volleyball still attract 2% of households. In the US, soccer was watched by 40% of the audience, almost as many as watch American football (44%). The number of fans willing to pay to watch their favourite sport is increasing in both the UK and the US, with many paying for content being streamed directly from clubs and federations.
However 26% of respondents said that they didn’t know how to find past events and 25% were put off by poor visual quality. Yet 83% felt that events should be digitised for future watching, as they did not want to lose access to historic sporting moments.
Of course, the position of Andy Murray at the top of the tennis rankings may well be having an influence on UK viewers!