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Sports programming is often cited as ‘DVR-proof’, but a new survey reveals that fans record live sports so they don’t miss great games, and to customise viewing experiences. Thuuz Sports’ survey of more than 1,000 pay TV subscribers indicates that the vast majority of sports fans with DVRs use them regularly to record games. Respondents expressed strong interest in automatically personalised video highlight reels, and willingness to pay a significant premium to access such a service.
“Over the past decade, DVR viewing has undermined certain elements of the TV business. Reacting to this threat, sports TV executives have rightly focused on the genre’s relative strength, calling sports programming ‘DVR-proof’,” says Ring Digital principal Brian Ring. “Sports are best viewed live, but this survey highlights the fact that most fans with DVRs regularly use them to customise their sports viewing in a near-live fashion. Indeed, our dataset provides strong evidence that a multi-billion-dollar opportunity exists for TV providers and sports networks to super-serve this user behaviour, creating a better TV bundle.”
Highlights of the data include:
Emphasis on live action is evolving towards inclusion of richer functionality, and this survey reveals further room for innovation. Thuuz Sports’ metadata, including algorithmic determination of excitement levels, is an example of how emerging technologies open new service possibilities.
“Thuuz is all about enhancing fan experiences for games and highlights through metadata indicating the best moment to tune-in, which can also be extended to automatically assemble personalised playlists for each subscriber,” says Warren Packard, CEO of Thuuz Sports. “These survey results strengthen our commitment to personalised, real-time sports video highlights as a growth strategy for TV operators, sports networks, leagues and teams.”
With fan interest in paying premiums at double-digit monthly dollar levels, and considering the population of tens of millions of sports fans in the United States alone, there is a multi-billion-dollar opportunity to personalise highlights, suggests the report.