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Reproduced from Maru Group for Variety Intelligence Platform; Chart: Axios Visuals

A new era of sports fandom is upon us, one in which fans increasingly come for snacks (highlights) instead of meals (live games).

By the numbers: Among U.S. sports fans ages 18–34, 58% of MLB fans, 54% of NBA fans and 48% of NFL fans say they prefer watching highlights to full games, according to a survey by Variety Intelligence Platform.

  • Of note: The number of NFL fans ages 35–49 who prefer highlights to games drops substantially to 20%, but that isn't the case for the NBA and MLB, with roughly half of fans in that age group saying so.

Why it matters: The sports ecosystem is built on live sports rights. If fans aren't regularly tuning into games, it could threaten the entire model.

  • This change in viewership behavior has been well-documented among millennial and Gen Z fans, many of whom have cut the cord and rely largely on social media for their sports coverage.
  • But this survey suggests the preference for short-form clips extends beyond that age group, at least among NBA and MLB fans.
  • In other words, the "highlight generation" might actually be the "highlight generations."

What they're saying: "This will be a crucial battleground for leagues on two fronts," writes Variety Intelligence Platform’s Gavin Bridge.

  • Front 1: "How to entice viewers to come back to full games."
  • Front 2: "How to better monetize highlights without making them so cost prohibitive that fans give up on watching them and grow more disconnected."

Read the full report.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Death toll mounts as fighting between Israel and Hamas intensifies

Palestinian Muslims exchange wishes for Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, near a razed building in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahia, on May 13. Photo: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

At least 109 Palestinians and seven people in Israel have been killed since recent fighting between Israel's military and Hamas began Monday.

The big picture: Israel began massing troops on its border with Gaza on Thursday, launching attacks from the air and ground as Hamas continued to fire rockets into Israel.

By the numbers: Where the earmarks are wanted

Expand chart
Data: House Committee on Appropriations; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The Dallas-Fort Worth area is being targeted for the largest collective earmark request in the country, according to a detailed breakdown of overall requests released by the House Appropriations Committee.

Why it matters: House appropriators are trying to balance bipartisan momentum for infrastructure investment with "pork-barrel" spending's checkered political history. The data dump is an effort to provide transparency for what are now termed "community project funding" requests.

Democrats open to user fees for infrastructure deal

President Biden sits Thursday with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) as they discuss his $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal. Photo: T.J. Kirkpatrick/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Some Senate Democrats are open to paying for a compromise infrastructure package by imposing user fees, including increasing the gas tax and raising money from electric car drivers through a vehicle-miles-traveled charge.

Why it matters: By inching toward the Republican position on pay-fors, some Democrats are bucking President Biden's push to offset his proposed $2.3 trillion plan by focusing only on raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy.