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Kantar confirms live sports driving more fans to join SVoD services

One in five new subscribers to subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) services are motivated by a desire to stream live sport, according to the latest Entertainment on Demand (EOD) tracking data from Kantar.

Recognising this growing demand by sports fans, more streaming services have been investing heavily in sports rights acquisition in recent years, said Kantar EOD, adding, “In Q3 2023, [we] noted the highest ever percentage of new streaming sign ups that were due to live sports, at 19%.”

Once considered the exclusive domain of pay-TV, evolving viewing habits and cost considerations mean pay-TV is fast losing favour with sports fans around the world.

Kantar EOD’s latest data, which covered markets including the US, Australia, the UK, Germany, Spain, and France, found the cable/pay-TV penetration dropped from 44% in Q3 2022, to 40% in Q3 2023. In line with this, video-on-demand (VoD) services are placing a growing emphasis on sporting documentaries to attract both traditional and non-traditional live sports fans.

For example, Netflix recently announced The Netflix Cup, a nine-hole golf match that will be broadcast live on November 14, 2023.

To be held as a leadup to F1’s inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix on November 18, The Netflix Cup will feature Formula 1 drivers Alex Albon, Pierre Gasly, Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz, who will be joined by PGA golfers Rickie Fowler, Max Homa, Collin Morikawa and Justin Thomas.

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