Men streaming football

Excited men watching football in streaming on smartphone. (Credit: Shutterstock)

NEW YORK — Gen Z prefer watching live sports on the go rather than viewing it at home or in a bar – because it’s more convenient. A poll of 500 sports fans found 80 percent of those between 18 and 26 will typically watch sports on their mobile phone while out and about.

Of those Gen Zers who generally consume games on their phone, 54 percent say it’s more accessible than other devices while a further 38 percent claim it’s how they access all their content. It also emerged that 74 percent of young adults get most of their sports content from social media – more than any other generation, with 65 percent of millennials doing this.

However, the study commissioned by Vizrt and conducted by OnePoll also found the love of live sporting events seems to be dying out among the younger generations, with just 58 percent of Gen Zs enjoying it. Sitting down to watch a full game live could become a rare occurrence as younger generations of viewers demand short form snappy content, with younger viewers favoring watching highlights (23%) and 17 percent opting to watch a game after it aired on their own time using catch-up features.

“There’s a drastic shift in how the younger demographic are interacting with, and consuming sports content,” says Pino Barile, head of sport, USA, Vizrt, in a statement. “To truly keep these fans engaged, broadcasters must adapt their content for the younger generation’s viewing habits.”

“Millennials and Gen Z want shorter, snappier content they can watch on the go, but that is rich with AR graphics, real-time data, and exciting analysis to feel fully immersed in the game.”

Watching live sports in bars could soon be a thing of the past as well, with only one percent of Gen Z watching while out at a bar. The report reveals that all generations of fans prefer to watch sports at home alone (43% Gen Z, 32% millennials, 25% Gen X).

streaming sports

Even the NFL is losing viewers

There is also a downward trend of engagement for football viewership, with only 29 percent of Gen Z and 30 percent of millennials listing football as their preferred sport to watch – compared to 39 percent of Gen X. The sports they are opting to watch instead are basketball, athletic competitions, and soccer.

Virtual elements are hugely important in making the experience more immersive — nearly one-third (29%) of sports fans are more likely to watch a broadcast if graphics and virtual elements are used.

The importance of broadcasters and media companies creating captivating content using augmented reality graphics, virtual studios, data, and sports analysis tools and more was shown to be essential to younger viewers (77%).

Two-thirds (65%) say they feel more engaged in sports commentary when virtual sets are used. In fact, 85 percent of all respondents found AR graphics and analysis tools important for a quality viewing experience.

About Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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StudyFinds publishes digestible, agenda-free, transparent research summaries that are intended to inform the reader as well as stir civil, educated debate. We do not agree nor disagree with any of the studies we post, rather, we encourage our readers to debate the veracity of the findings themselves. All articles published on StudyFinds are vetted by our editors prior to publication and include links back to the source or corresponding journal article, if possible.

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1 Comment

  1. Stan Hywet says:

    If you only watch action on a tiny screen like a phone, you’ll miss any nuanced occurrences that make the sport unique….are you telling me that a phone viewer can see the spin of a baseball on the tiny screen???