Jun 25, 2022 - Sports

Sports is saving linear TV

The vast majority of the most-watched broadcasts on television are sports, and, in particular, NFL games.

Why it matters: Sports increasingly trounce news in their influence over the cable bundle.

  • Last year, for example, news programs made up just six of the 100 most-watched broadcasts in primetime, compared to 61 sports broadcasts, 37 of which were NFL games.
  • An analysis from researchers at MoffettNathanson last year noted that most of the pay-TV erosion in the U.S. "appears to be from consumers who aren’t self-classified as sports viewers."

Be smart: Because pro football games are so disproportionately popular compared to any other type of TV content, the NFL is able to command extraordinarily expensive media distribution rights.

  • NFL games cost more per game to broadcast than any other sport globally by far, surpassing the English Premier League (soccer), the Indian Premier League (cricket), the NBA (basketball) and the MLB (baseball).

What to watch: As traditional TV subscriptions decline in favor of streaming, live sports games have become the last remaining programs that advertisers can rely on to draw massive viewership.

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