- Sara Fischer
- Sep 19
Live sports audiences are getting older
The median age of people watching live sports on television has increased across every nationally-broadcasted sport, according to Magna Global's latest sports media report.
Why it matters: Advertisers typically rely on live sports to reach a relatively young, engaged audience, particularly for consumer goods. That live TV audience seems to be migrating to digital pretty quickly.Note: Data reflects regular season viewership where available as opposed to playoffs or finals; Data: MAGNA U.S. Sports Report, Sept. 2017; Chart: Chris Canipe / Axios
Other major findings:
- Time spent on sports content on social media has increased among younger audiences, as many are turning to social media to catch highlights and reels of games, instead of watching games live.
- Sports with more multicultural audiences, like basketball and soccer, have had better luck retaining younger audiences, except for the NCAA. (The median age for the NCAA basketball tournament, one of the first major sporting events to be streamed live, crossed the line into the 50's last year.)
- Live viewing is expected to decline for the 2018 World Cup and Olympic games, but streaming is expected to set records.
The good news: Regional sports networks have had better luck retaining viewers competitor to their national network competitors, reinforcing the importance for fans to see their local teams."
Worthy of your time: Recode took a look at how advertisers are still willing to pay record amounts for NFL ads, despite live TV audience declines.