Dec 20, 2022 - Sports

Gen Z more likely to stream live sports events

How do you most often watch live sporting events, when not in person?
Reproduced from Morning Consult; Chart: Axios Visuals

America's youth doesn't have much of an appetite for live sports broadcasts — an alarming reality for an industry built on broadcasters' willingness to pay for media rights.

By the numbers: 33% of U.S. Gen Zers (ages 13-25) don't watch sports at all, compared to 24% of U.S. adults, per two Morning Consult surveys run last month.

  • Gen Z is also more likely to stream sports (32%) than watch linear TV (28%), a shift from the 2020 survey when they still preferred linear (32%) over streaming (22%).
  • Adults, meanwhile, watch nearly twice as much sports on traditional TV (47%) as they stream (24%).

The big picture: Leagues like the NFL (Amazon) and MLB (Apple) have signed streaming-centric deals in recent years to meet young fans where they are.

Yes, but: Simply getting in front of cord-cutting Gen Zers isn't going to turn them into fans — not if they aren't genuinely interested.

  • 26% of Gen Zers said "no ability to watch" was a reason they hadn't tuned into a sporting event on TV in a few years, so the streaming push will help reach that cohort.
  • But a whopping 73% of Gen Zers said a reason they hadn't watched was that "I'm not interested in sports." It's imperative that leagues figure out how to get that number down.
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