Mobile apps that offer streaming alternatives to cable television are having a moment thanks to the 2018 World Cup. Sensor Tower Store Intelligence data reveals that first-time downloads of the five leading live TV apps in the US grew by 77 per cent during the first week of World Cup coverage, compared to preceding weeks in the analysis. These apps offer cord cutters network and cable programming and, in particular, channels that air World Cup matches.
During the week-long period of June 14th through June 20th, new installs of the five apps – DirecTV NOW, fuboTV, Hulu, Sling TV, and YouTube TV – reached a combined 1.25 million on the App Store and Google Play. This was up from an average of 706,000 installs across the three previous seven-day periods analysed.
Looking at individual growth, fuboTV added the most new users of its mobile app, growing 713 per cent over its average of 38,000 installs for the periods leading to the World Cup. It saw an estimated 309,000 new users in the US in just seven days, according to our data.
YouTube TV was runner-up in terms of World Cup week one installs, growing 98 per cent from 113,000 to 224,000 downloads. Sling TV grew nearly as much, increasing 90 per cent over the preceding periods. Its app added about 114,000 new installs in one week, compared to its 60,000 average before the World Cup kicked off on June 14th.
DirecTV NOW, which also carries channels airing World Cup matches, showed significant app install growth of 44 per cent compared to the average of the run-up periods we studied. It added approximately 118,000 new app users in a week, compared to 82,000 previously.
Hulu, which offers a live TV tier in its app, grew the least among the five providers we looked at, despite having the most installs during the first week of World Cup matches. It was downloaded about 486,000 times between June 14th and June 20th, which represented an 18 per cent increase over the 413,000 installs it averaged during the pre-World Cup analysis period.
Sensor Tower data also shows that the two main network-specific apps offering live World Cup matches in the US. also witnessed significant bumps in first-time users thanks to the event.
The data reveals that FOX Sports, which has English-language rights to World Cup broadcasts, saw a 95-fold increase in new downloads during the first seven days of matches, reaching nearly 1.2 million installs compared to the 12,600 average for the preceding period. Meanwhile, installs of Telemundo Deportes En Vivo for the Spanish-speaking market were 444 times larger than the average of 5,400 it managed per-week before the event, earning it 2.4 million new installs between June 14th and June 20th.