Sport and The Media - UK - February 2009
Sport is one of the most popular of all leisure interests among UK consumers, and particularly among men – yet only a small minority of fans actually pursue this interest through live event attendance. For the large majority, the bulk of their engagement with sport comes through the media. The value of television rights alone highlights how important the media has become to driving sports revenues, and how important sport has become to sustaining media revenues, particularly in times of audience fragmentation and declining circulations.
The media market as a whole is changing, primarily as a consequence of the development of the internet, and its sports sector faces a range of challenges and opportunities as a result. ‘Old media’ of print titles and linear television appear most vulnerable to change, yet these have the strong brands that consumers will gravitate towards in a new space. The overall direction of travel is towards platforms that hold real potential to develop ever more sophisticated and compelling sports offers.
This report examines these recent developments in the sports media market, in terms of the availability of coverage – in both quantity and the range of platforms providers use – and the way in which it is consumed. In assessing the role that media coverage is likely to play in the sports market in the current economic climate, it examines the hypothesis that: “the onset of recession, platform proliferation, the high cost of event attendance and the development of sport as an entertainment product are all combining to make media coverage an alternative to the stadium experience rather than an adjunct to it.”
Main report themes:
How vulnerable is sports media spending to recession?
How important is sport to the media – in driving audiences and advertising revenues?
How do consumers use the media to follow sport?
Do they have different media preferences for different sports?
How are media groups developing multi-platform operations?
Is collaboration or competition the future for alternative platforms and providers?
How innovative are sports media providers?
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the main sports media platforms relative to each other?
What are consumers’ attitudes towards the main sports media platforms?
How will audiences change their consumption habits during 2009?
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