Survey: Sports fans have high viewing experience expectations

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Nearly 63 per cent of consumers want less interruption and a full experience, without paying more, according to the findings of global market survey, The Digital Future Report: Sports Streaming Edition, from business transformation specialist CSG.

The survey, which polled more than 2,000 consumers between the ages of 18 and 64, evaluated when and how consumers watch live sports as well as what value-added services they would pay more to receive.

As streaming live events, particularly sports events, on mobile devices continues to become increasingly commonplace in the digital world, consumers are seeking ways to enhance the experience through companion applications, exclusive interviews, customisable screens and other premium content that enables viewers to create a unique and personalised experience.  According to survey results, consumers want it all, but won’t pay more for it.

“It is a truly transformative time for live sports viewing. Shifting consumer expectations and mobile’s ability to add to the experience with apps, social media access and even augmented and virtual reality can bring the game to a new, more interactive level,” said Kent Steffen, president of digital services and OTT, CSG. “The key takeaway from this survey is that even though many live sports providers are continually building their fan experience, consumers already expect the full, personalised package at a cost that they are used to. Providers that can deliver and quickly experiment with new packages and services will succeed.”

Key insights include:

  • At home, cable subscriptions are the bedrock of live sports consumption.

The majority (71 per cent) of global consumers watch live sports through cable subscriptions, with digital channels like streaming or mobile trailing at 18 per cent and 11 per cent respectively. They prefer to enjoy the game at home (69 per cent) compared to bars/restaurants (14 per cent) or stadiums (8 per cent).

  • Consumers already expect premium service at an everyday price.

When asked what types of services they would be willing to pay more for, among less intrusive ads, multi-game or split screen access; access to personalised content; access to extras such as stats or virtual-reality enables camera angles, 64 per cent of respondents say that they would not pay extra for any of these features. Of those that would pay extra, less intrusive advertising was the most popular choice at 18.5 per cent.

  • Consumers are increasingly advertisement averse.

If given the option to tailor their own personalised viewing package, consumers indicated a nearly equal preference for less intrusive advertisements (32 per cent), and a package tailored to only the teams they care about (28 per cent).

  • Consumers tap social platforms and websites to complement the live game. 42 per cent use social media and websites to keep tabs on other concurrent games and 37 per cent use these resources to find relevant stats.
  • Live sports providers are excited about the potential for VR/AR – consumers, less so.

69 per cent of consumers say they are not interested at all in VR/AR to enhance the viewing at home experience. Only 11 per cent are very interested. However, in the US, nearly half of US Gen Z and millennials (44 per cent) are interested in VR/AR as a way to get the ‘in-stadium’ experience at home.

  • Consumers want a convenient way to upgrade their sports packages.

Half of consumers (51 per cent) prefer easy payment by rolling charges onto a recurring monthly bill.

 


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