Online streaming platforms are now the most popular for sports viewing in the UK, with 40% of sports fans on social media indicating these platforms are amongst their most popular destinations for sports. Moreover, 80% of sports fans say they want to watch sports exclusively on streaming platforms, according to Grabyo’s “2022 UK Sports Video Trends” report.
In contrast, coupled with an increase in streaming-enabled devices, traditional pay TV and freeview TV use is falling amongst UK sports fans. In fact, the number of fans using pay television platforms has decreased 27% since 2021, with a 41% decrease in freeview TV users.
Regarding devices, since 2021, there has been a 47% increase in the use of smartphones for watching video among UK sports fans, the highest increase in viewing across all streaming devices. With the continued decrease in the use of traditional (non-internet connected) TVs, and only one third now using set top boxes from pay TV providers, fans are gearing up for a future where streaming is the only way to watch sports on any platform, Grabyo says.
Furthermore, Grabyo’s data shows that multi platform viewing is the most common behaviour for sports fans on social media in the UK, with most major social platforms used by over one-quarter of fans. Most are watching sports on at least three different social accounts every month, and TikTok is the fastest growing platform with a 42% increase in users among UK sports fans in the last 12 months.
Each platform has its own unique offering and content formats that appeal to fans. For example, YouTube and Facebook remain popular for sports highlights and live action. Meanwhile, TikTok and Instagram have grown in popularity for raw, behind the scenes content that has allowed fans to connect more closely with their favourite athletes and teams.