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Key points included

  • Where next for the women’s sport boom?
  • Sports turn brands to keep the excluded onside

Covered in this report

This report focuses on UK adults’ experience of watching live spectator sport, either at an event venue, on television or via the internet. Listening to live radio commentary and watching television highlights or live coverage on a time-shift basis are not included in the core definition of the report.


Except where indicated, market value estimations comprise consumer expenditure on sports event tickets only. Spending on sports television and internet service subscriptions is excluded, as is secondary expenditure at spectator sports venues (on food, beverages, merchandise etc).

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by David Walmsley, a leading analyst in the Leisure sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

A golden year for women’s sport and high levels of public interest in seeing more of it have created an unprecedented opportunity for female teams and athletes to step into the market’s mainstream David Walmsley
Senior Leisure Analyst

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What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Cricket’s big hit pushes ticket sales past £1.5 billion boundary
              • Figure 1: Forecast of consumer expenditure on sports event tickets, 2014-24
            • Football and rugby union lead volume growth
              • Figure 2: UK spectator sport attendances, by leading segments, 2018
            • Media opportunities grow beyond live TV
              • Figure 3: Four-screen* live broadcast audiences for selected major sports events, 2019
            • The consumer
              • Audiences fall in absence of mega events
                • Figure 4: Experience of live sport, July 2019
              • Football dominates viewing picture
                • Figure 5: Sports watched live, July 2019
              • Sport overwhelmingly a TV experience
                • Figure 6: Methods of watching live sport, July 2019
              • Women’s sport seen by four in five fans
                • Figure 7: Women’s sports watched, July 2019
              • Gender gap closes in public opinion
                • Figure 8: Attitudes towards women’s sport, July 2019
              • No need for gimmicks in selling women’s sport
                • Figure 9: Incentives to attending women’s sports events, July 2019
              • What we think
              • Issues and Insights

                • Where next for the women’s sport boom?
                  • The facts
                    • The implications
                      • Sports turn brands to keep the excluded onside
                        • The facts
                          • The implications
                          • The Market – What You Need to Know

                            • Cricket’s big hitter keeps scoreboard moving
                              • Football and rugby union enjoy fastest growth
                                • Changing habits create media opportunities beyond live
                                  • Season tickets set out more options
                                    • Sports nostalgia values the real over the virtual
                                    • Market Size and Forecast

                                      • Cricket World Cup gives market bounce
                                          • Figure 10: Consumer expenditure on sports event tickets, 2014-24
                                        • Forecast
                                            • Figure 11: Forecast of consumer expenditure on sports event tickets, 2014-24
                                          • Forecast methodology
                                          • Market Segmentation

                                            • Football and rugby union lead on growth
                                              • Figure 12: UK spectator sport attendances, by leading segments, 2014-18
                                            • Football
                                              • Figure 13: English football league attendances, 2014/15-2018/19
                                              • Figure 14: English football league attendances, by division, 2014/15-2018/19
                                            • Horseracing
                                              • Figure 15: UK horseracing attendances, 2015-19
                                            • Cricket
                                                • Figure 16: International and domestic cricket attendances, 2015-19
                                              • Rugby union
                                                  • Figure 17: Premiership rugby union attendances, 2014/15-2018/19
                                                • Rugby league
                                                  • Figure 18: Super League attendances, 2015-19
                                              • Market Drivers

                                                • Changing media habits creating opportunities beyond live TV
                                                    • Figure 19: Four-screen* live broadcast audiences for selected major sports events, 2019
                                                  • Sport a key focus for 5G development
                                                      • Figure 20: 5G knowledge, February 2019
                                                    • Women’s sport goes mainstream
                                                        • Figure 21: Experience of watching live women’s sport, July 2019
                                                      • Stadium investments improving fan experiences
                                                          • Figure 22: Investment in stadium development by English football clubs, by division, 2016/17 and 2017/18
                                                        • More major events keep calendar filled
                                                        • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                          • Season ticket sellers focus on food and flexibility
                                                            • Old balls please
                                                              • The Sport of Kings (Road)
                                                                • A taste of sporting culture
                                                                  • Mini rugby kicks off
                                                                  • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                    • Absence of mega events sees viewing fall
                                                                      • Football dominates viewing picture
                                                                        • Sport overwhelmingly a TV experience
                                                                          • Women’s sport reaching four out of five fans
                                                                            • Gender gap closes in public opinion
                                                                              • No need for gimmicks in selling women’s sport
                                                                              • Sports Fans

                                                                                • Viewership slips between mega-event years
                                                                                  • Figure 23: Experience of live sport, July 2019
                                                                                • Older adults getting back in the game
                                                                                  • Figure 24: Experience of live sport, by age, July 2019
                                                                              • Sports Watched

                                                                                • On-field success draws the crowds
                                                                                  • Figure 25: Sports watched live, July 2019
                                                                                • Tennis and horseracing lead on gender equality
                                                                                  • Figure 26: Sports watched live, by gender, July 2019
                                                                              • Methods of Watching

                                                                                • Minority events punching above their weight
                                                                                    • Figure 27: Live event attendance, by sport, July 2019
                                                                                  • No clear leader in viewing outside the home
                                                                                      • Figure 28: Watching live televised sport outside the home, by sport, July 2019
                                                                                  • Women’s Sport

                                                                                    • Four out of five sports fans watch women play
                                                                                        • Figure 29: Women’s sports watched, July 2019
                                                                                      • A two-horse race in terms of reach
                                                                                        • Figure 30: Repertoires of women’s sports watched, July 2019
                                                                                      • Big occasions needed to keep fans coming back
                                                                                        • Figure 31: Future interest in women’s sport, July 2019
                                                                                    • Attitudes towards Women’s Sport

                                                                                      • No more handicap in public opinion
                                                                                          • Figure 32: Attitudes towards women’s sport, July 2019
                                                                                        • Supporting sportswomen in fight for female rights
                                                                                            • Figure 33: Agreement that “It is important that female sports stars stand up for women's rights”, by age and gender, July 2019
                                                                                        • Incentives to Watching Women’s Sport

                                                                                          • Family focus centres on price and atmosphere
                                                                                              • Figure 34: Incentives to attending women’s sports events, July 2019
                                                                                            • Women’s sports still need to close the knowledge gap
                                                                                                • Figure 35: Knowing more about women’s sport teams, players or athletes as an incentive to event attendance, by women’s sports interested in watching live in the future, July 2019
                                                                                            • Supporting Athlete Activism

                                                                                              • Speak up and dribble
                                                                                                • Figure 36: Spectator Sports – CHAID – Tree output, July 2019
                                                                                            • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviation and Supporting Information

                                                                                              • Data sources
                                                                                                • Abbreviations
                                                                                                  • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                    • CHAID methodology
                                                                                                      • Figure 37: Spectator Sports – CHAID – Table output, July 2019
                                                                                                  • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                    • Fan chart forecast
                                                                                                        • Figure 38: Forecast of consumer expenditure on sports event tickets, 2019-24

                                                                                                    About the report

                                                                                                    This report will give you a complete 360-degree view of your market. Not only is it rooted in robust proprietary and high-quality third-party data, but our industry experts put that data into context and you’ll quickly understand:

                                                                                                    • The Consumer

                                                                                                      What They Want. Why They Want It.

                                                                                                    • The Competitors

                                                                                                      Who’s Winning. How To Stay Ahead.

                                                                                                    • The Market

                                                                                                      Size, Segments, Shares And Forecasts: How It All Adds Up.

                                                                                                    • The Innovations

                                                                                                      New Ideas. New Products. New Potential.

                                                                                                    • The Opportunities

                                                                                                      Where The White Space Is. How To Make It Yours.

                                                                                                    • The Trends

                                                                                                      What’s Shaping Demand – Today And Tomorrow.

                                                                                                    Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted.

                                                                                                    Description