Advanced Television

63% sports fans reluctant to sign-up for live streaming

November 21, 2017

Phenix, a provider of global, end-to-end real-time video solutions, has released its The Streaming Wars: Sports Report that found nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) of consumers (who watch sports on TV) have come to expect bad service during live games.

The study, conducted online with third party research firm YouGov, uncovered not only the consumer perceptions and expectations during live sports streaming experiences, but how they want to see those streaming experiences improve over time.

Phenix’s report found 63 per cent of sports watchers are reluctant to sign up or re-subscribe to sports livestreaming platforms in 2018, with more than one in three (34 per cent) reporting they would think about cancelling the service giving them an issue.


Latency is a clear factor contributing to the frustrations plaguing consumers and ultimately resulting in significant business impacts for the franchises, broadcasters and platforms delivering the streaming experience. During live game-time streams, sports watchers cite the following latency issues:

  • 64 per cent expect buffering
  • 42 per cent expect delays
  • 32 per cent expect poor picture quality
  • 30 per cent expect loss of service

Latency issues have the potential to genuinely impact streaming businesses’ bottom lines. Not only are sports watchers expecting streaming disruptions; they are frustrated by them, worried about spoilers, are switching services and wondering if they’ve wasted their money.

It’s apparent the ‘live’ streaming industry is fundamentally broken and latency issues are becoming a big, loud problem,” said Jed Corenthal, Chief Marketing Officer of Phenix, whose previous experience includes positions at the NFL, AVP Pro Beach Volleyball and more. “Sports is always going to need to be watched in real-time, but outside traditional broadcast mediums, the industry is still unable to offer it at scale, as evident by recent issues during livestreams of major sporting events. The good news is sports fans aren’t going to stand for this and have the potential to be the primary voices calling for the industry to rethink what it means to truly deliver a game in real-time. They’re considering cancelling their subscriptions or just not signing up for new ones at all next year. Hopefully, these findings will serve as a wake-up call that finally convinces streaming platforms to solve the latency issues plaguing the market.”

Capitalising on Real-Time Potential  

With a number of high profile sporting events on the horizon (more than one in three, 36 per cent, of sports watchers anticipate issues streaming this year’s Super Bowl) there’s ample opportunity for the streaming industry to not only solve the latency issues it faces, but use real-time capabilities to elevate the sports fan’s overall experience.

  • More than one in three (36 per cent) want to gain insights into player stats and information
  • More than one in three (36 per cent) want to stream more than one game on different devices, demonstrating the proliferation of the multi-screen experience
  • Nearly one in three (30 per cent) want the ability to watch in virtual reality (VR) to view the game from different angles
  • More than one in five (22 per cent) want to see updates from the locker room/sidelines
  • More than one in five (21 per cent) want to feel like they’re a journalist and have an insider view into press conferences
  • One in five (21 per cent) want to talk to/interact with players and coaches in real-time
  • 17 per cent want to engage with other viewers
  • 16 per cent want access to excusive social media “stories”
  • 15 per cent want to be able to participate in score/play predictions

“Luckily, with so many major sporting events coming up in early 2018 – the Olympics, the Super Bowl, the World Cup – there’s incredible opportunity for franchises, broadcasters and streaming platforms to finally get the live stream right. Correcting course means implementing end-to-end technology that provides an optimal, true real-time streaming experience that works at scale. Otherwise, latency will continue to wreak havoc on the industry and impact revenue for platforms that rely on such a passionate user base,” said Corenthal.


Categories: Articles, Consumer Behaviour, OTT, Research