Sports Programming is Why 27% of Pay-​TV Customers Retain Their TV Services

BY Rachel Cagle
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New research from Parks Associates shows that 27% of U.S. pay-​TV households agree that sports programming is the primary reason they subscribe to their pay-​TV service. Parks Associates will explore trends in the video ecosystem, particularly the disruptive influence of OTT services, at the pre-​show research workshop Survivor's Guide to the New Video World, sponsored by Espial, on May 14 in Denverduring The Pay TV Show.

According to AudienceSCAN, 30.6% of U.S. adults are TV Sports Watchers. About 71.4% are male and 20.5% of them are between the ages of 55 and 64. Another 58.5% of them are married and that same percentage also does not have kids living at home.

"While broadcast and pay TV remain key sources for live sports, OTT streaming options have become an important part of the live sports landscape," said Brett Sappington, Senior Director of Research, Parks Associates. "Increasingly, leagues and networks are offering direct-​to-​consumer options. These services offer access to content that would otherwise not be broadcast and subscription options to those not subscribing to pay TV. In the past several weeks, both CBS and ESPN have launched their own streaming services for sports content. These services will both compete with and complement major services such as WWE Network and MLB​.TV. Over time, pay-​TV providers will likely partner with these types of services in order to round out their existing channel packages."

Most (72.7%) of TV Sports Watchers are NFL fans, according to AudienceSCAN. Another 51.5% enjoy watching college football either in-​person or on TV, 49.9% are MLB fans and 42.9% enjoy watching NBA games.

The Pay TV Show, hosted by FierceMarkets, will address innovative technologies, strategies, and business models that telecom, tech, and media companies are using to compete in this disrupted marketplace. Sponsored by Espial, Survivor's Guide to the New Video World highlights the latest consumer research and explores trends defining success in the new landscape for video services.

Additional Parks Associates video research data:

  • 52% of U.S. broadband households have a subscription to both pay-​TV and one or more OTT video services
  • 10% of U.S. broadband households have switched, downgraded, or cancelled their pay-​TV service in the past 12 months
  • U.S. broadband households spend $23 on average for video entertainment per month

TV Sports Watchers can be targeted with ads via the same medium they're usually watching their sporting events on: the TV. According to AudienceSCAN 66.4% of TV Sports Watchers took action after seeing a TV ad within the past year. If they missed the game and are looking up the score, they can also effectively be targeted online with the sponsored search results that 52% of them took action on or through newspaper ads that 51% responded to in the past year.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.