Sport viewership to surge after Coronavirus shutdown: Report

There appears a silver lining behind the Coronavirus cloud as sports business along with the global economy is bearing the brunt of the pandemic. A study by IMI’s NextWave Consultancy has revealed that there will be an upsurge in sports audience after the lockdown period is over.

Sports fans worldwide will desperately tune-in to LIVE action once sports events resume. The report reveals that fans are missing watching live sports during the social disruption caused by Coronavirus. A latent demand will potentially create a surge in interest post-shutdown.

The global survey carried out by IMI’s NextWave consultancy has revealed that 38% of male in the Gen Z and Millennial age groups have said that watching live sports with friends and family is what they are missing during the pandemic. That ranks ahead of simply feeling safe to go outside (31%) or general social interaction with friends and family (32 %). Overall 19% of those surveyed listed watching sport as an activity they miss, Sports Pro Media has reported with reference to the study.

The Consumer Perception of Covid-19 report suggests there is a ‘pent-up demand’ brewing among fans, and anticipates a surge in viewership when live competition finally resumes.

A majority of respondents agree that they will have an enhanced interest in LIVE sports once the global sports action resumes. The nation wise study has though reported diversifying interest across different nationalities – UK and Spain (17 per cent); USA (29%) and Canada (32%).

The data is pertinent with broadcasters seeing slumps in advertising revenues in the absence of live sports content, while rights holders are arming themselves for an anticipated financial fallout if postponed seasons cannot be completed.

Results from the survey also indicate that direct-to-consumer (DTC) and digital platforms may provide stronger revenue streams for rights holders and brands than they were previously.