Altman Vilandrie & Company: Pay TV Relies on Sports, NFL More than Ever, with 90% of Sports Fans Subscribing to Pay TV

U.S. sports fans love NFL teams, NBA superstars, Serena Williams, and baseball (still!), according to sprawling new survey on sports viewership, fandom, and betting by Altman Vilandrie & Company

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#IOT–Pay TV relies more on sports and National Football League (NFL) fans than ever before with 90% of sports fans subscribing to Pay TV, according to a new survey on sports viewership, fandom, and betting by Altman Vilandrie & Company.

The survey, which polled 5000 U.S. consumers in August on a wide range of sports entities (21 sports leagues, 300+ teams and 400+ athletes), is dominated by the NFL, with 14 of the top 25 top-ranked favorite sports entities to watch coming from the NFL. The NFL was the top favorite league to watch and had five of the top six favorite teams, led by the Green Bay Packers.

Still, the survey shows strong fandom for other sports leagues and athletes: the National Basketball Association has two of the top three athletes to watch in the rankings, with Steph Curry (#1) and LeBron James (#3) joining Tom Brady (#2). Tennis legend Serena Williams is the top individual-sport athlete to watch, ahead of Tiger Woods and Roger Federer. Major League Baseball (MLB) was the second ranked favorite sports entity with the top team overall in the New York Yankees.

Altman Vilandrie & Company also finds that younger viewers (18-24) have many more favorite sports than older viewers and are much more likely to watch the NBA, eSports, fighting (UFC and boxing), and professional European football (Champions League, EPL) than older viewers and less likely to watch the NFL.

There’s no question that the NFL dominates the current survey but the breadth and diversity of sports interest among younger viewers predicts a shift in the American sports TV landscape,” said Altman Vilandrie & Company Principal Matt Del Percio. “Sports fans now have many more viewing choices than ever and Pay TV providers must find ways to reach new fan bases while retaining fans for traditional sports who subscribe at very high rates.”

Additional portions of the analysis as well as charts to support the findings are available here. Other key findings of the survey include:

  • 90% of sports fans who watch sports regularly subscribe to Pay TV, compared to only 67% of sports non-viewers
  • College Football was the third ranked favorite sports entity to watch, with Ohio State beating out Notre Dame and Alabama as the favorite college football programs to watch
  • NBA fans are motivated to watch superstars, with 55% indicating they tune in for specific players – the most of any league
  • 44% of younger respondents (18-24) selected a sports league other than the NFL, NBA, MLB, College Football, or College Basketball as their “top favorite” league
  • 54% of respondents under the age of 24 identified themselves as frequent or occasional sports gamblers, compared to 17% of respondents over the age of 55+

The rapid legalization of sports gambling by states provides an opportunity for Pay TV providers and leagues to attract younger viewers who are literally invested in the outcome of the games,” said Del Percio.

For more details on the survey please contact Matt Del Percio at [email protected]. Additional key portions of analysis are available to the media by request.

About Altman Vilandrie & Company

Altman Vilandrie & Company is a strategy consulting group that focuses on the telecom, media, technology and investor sectors. The company’s consultants are experienced in strategy, marketing, finance, M&A, technology, regulatory and operations disciplines. Based in Boston and with offices in New York City and San Francisco, Altman Vilandrie & Company enables clients to seize new opportunities, navigate mounting challenges, improve business performance, and increase investor value within complex and converging industries.

Ninety percent of the boutique firm’s operator clients are large- to mid-cap companies including service providers, technology and software developers, and media companies. Altman Vilandrie & Company’s financial clients include many of the largest and most prominent investors in the telecom, media and technology markets.


Cort Boulanger

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