Thursday, April 14th, 2016 - Roy Morgan Research

12.25 million Australians 14+ (63%) have at least one sport that they ‘almost always’ watch on TV, and over 1 in 6 of these dedicated fans either already pay to watch sporting events on demand—or say they would like to, new research on media habits from Roy Morgan shows.

However not all sports’ most dedicated viewers are as keen on the idea of a pay-per-view arrangement.  American NBA basketball has the highest proportion of fans who either already pay or would like to pay to access sport on demand: 23% of keen viewers already pay for sport on demand and another 21% agree they would like to.

However the EPL’s committed viewers are the most likely to already pay to watch some sport on demand (25%), with another 16% open to the idea.

Although just 11% of American football viewers are already paying for on-demand sport, a further 22% would like to. Greyhound Racing and Super Rugby could similarly be expected to reach up to a third of regular viewers through on-demand broadcasting.

Rounding out the Top 10 sports with the most on-demand-friendly audiences are Rugby Union International (15% already do and 14% would like to), American baseball (14% and 15%), A-League Soccer (13% and 16%), Boxing (17% and 12%), and Australian NBL basketball (15% and 13%).

% of ‘almost always’ viewers who already or would like to pay to access sport on demand:

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, January – December 2015, sample n = 50,276 Australians 14+

Tim Martin, General Manager – Media, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“The proportion of sports viewers who say they already or would like to pay to access sporting events on demand has actually been fairly static over the past five years, rising from 15% of Australians who ‘almost always’ watch one or more sports on TV in 2011 to 17% now. Of course, much of this slow growth would have to do with the limited options for any kind of on-demand access to sport in Australia. Foxtel and free-to-air TV networks have long dominated the local broadcasting scene, and their tenure has perhaps stunted the development of pay-per-view or per-sport models even as fixed broadband, the NBN, and 4G mobile networks delivered new possibilities for how and where consumers could watch what they wanted, when they wanted, on the device they wanted.  

“As we’ve previously reported, EPL viewers are already well ahead of the curve when it comes to streaming content on computer and mobile devices. They’re also more likely to be planning to switch provider for their fixed broadband or mobile phone services. Now, as this research shows, the EPL’s biggest fans in Australia (who say they almost always watch it) are the most likely of any sport’s to have already paid to watch sports on demand.

“It is game on for the telcos, streamers, media owners and the sports bodies themselves as to whom they partner with, how they commercialise content and what this does for their core business whether it’s selling data, handsets, subscriptions or ads.”

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Roy Morgan Research


Roy Morgan Research is Australia’s best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
Shaun Ellis
P: 03 9224 5332
W: www.roymorgan.com

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