More sports fans than ever prefer watching highlights instead of live games

by Peter Heck · Mar 26th, 2021 7:18 pm

Last Updated Mar 28th, 2021 at 7:02 am

The fast-paced, fast-food, iPad culture may be catching up to sports-watching in the United States. According to a survey done by Variety Intelligence Platform, there has been a marked increase in the percentage of Americans preferring to watch merely highlights to games as opposed to the games themselves.

This finding was consistent across all three major sports leagues – the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, and Major League Baseball.

"This will be a crucial battleground for leagues on two fronts," said Gavin Bridge, Variety Intelligence Platform. "How to entice viewers to come back to full games, [and] how to better monetize highlights without making them so cost prohibitive that fans give up on watching them and grow more disconnected."

The trend of preferring short video clips and sound bites to actually sitting down and watching a full game had already been documented in both the NBA and MLB across all demographics.

Television executives have voiced concerns that the entire subculture of sports is built upon the money from networks getting rights to certain games. If fans were to stop attending games in mass, that will dramatically alter the financial resources of these leagues.


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