Sports viewing falls by 91% as coronavirus hits Europe

By 8th April 2020 No Comments

A streaming report from Conviva shows the impact of the pandemic on sports viewing.

Sports viewing is down 91% across Europe, according to research by streaming intelligence company Conviva.
Sports usually accounts for around 30% of viewing, but since the coronavirus pandemic has halted all live sports, sports viewing has plummeted dramatically.

There’s been a move to replace traditional sports with esports and fill schedules with re-runs of key sporting events and sports documentaries, and this will likely start to reduce the decline. However, Conviva’s research (for the month of March) demonstrates the pulling power of live sports. Without any on the agenda, it’s made a huge impact on consumer interest.

The streaming data for Conviva’s report (called ‘Streaming in Europe in the Time of Coronavirus’) was collected from 3 billion streaming video applications, analysing 1.5 trillion real-time transactions per day. It covers data from 1 March 1 to 31 March, and specifically for European publishers.

The report says, bluntly, “sports consumption has collapsed. Sports content in Europe has typically accounted for 30% share of viewing, but the effect of near-universal suspension of sport in Europe has been profound. Comparing the last week of March and the first week, sports viewing hours were down 91%.”

However, Conviva adds: “Europe’s appetite for sports content hasn’t diminished. A pivot to esports amongst sports-centric publishers has demonstrated demand remains. With several tournaments touted to recommence behind closed doors, demand for sports broadcasting will be higher than ever.”

Meanwhile, entertainment consumption rose by 39% in Europe, and, with its larger share of viewing, this was sufficient to cancel out the drop attributed to sports.

Unsurprisingly, news consumption skyrocketed, increasing more than 130% and tripling its share of viewing.

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