Altman Solon Survey: U.S. Fans Watching More Live Sports, but Growing Interest in “Snackable” Content, Fan-Focused Technologies like NFTs, Virtual Reality Preview Evolution of Sports Viewing

2022 Global Sports Survey of 17 countries spotlights the key trends and developments shaping the world of sports, how fans engage, and what it means for properties, media partners, and investors

Boston, MA, September 28, 2022 — U.S. sports fans are watching more live sports since the start of the pandemic in 2020 to today, according to a survey of consumers across 17 markets by leading global strategic consulting firm Altman Solon. Altman Solon’s survey also shows that new technologies increasingly used by sports teams and leagues to build fan connections, including augmented and virtual reality and blockchain, are drawing fan interest.

The 2022 Global Sports Survey finds that more than half of respondents (58%) are watching more sports now compared to 2020 (51%), which saw many sporting events, including the Tokyo Olympics, cancelled or postponed. The survey also shows that 68% of U.S. sports fans watch live games at least weekly, one of the highest rates globally. However, more than a quarter (27%) of U.S. sports fans say they prefer catching clips of game highlights than watching the games themselves.

The complete report on global sports trends can be found here.

The survey finds strong interest in using augmented and virtual reality technology to consume and interact with sports content at home. The U.S. and Japan had the highest levels of interest in using VR for sports, with more than two-thirds of U.S. headset owners interested in watching live games in VR. Other popular VR uses include watching live games as if inside the arena and experiencing live action from a player’s point of view. The survey also measures interest in augmented reality, which provides clubs, leagues, and athletes with potential opportunities to build and market new digital experiences for their fans.

Despite the recent volatility in value of cryptocurrencies and NFTs, sports fans globally are also showing interest in these new technologies as more sports leagues and franchises have developed blockchain- and crypto-based offerings and partnerships in the past year. U.S. fans have among the highest interest in alternative technologies, with respondents choosing to buy NFTs or digital collectibles (24%) and use cryptocurrency to attend sporting events (23%) ranking as the top uses.

“The U.S. and global sports industries are experiencing an evolution driven by innovation and changing consumer behavior. Since viewership and interest in sports came back strong after the pandemic, we’ve seen significant investment in multi-billion-dollar deals for franchises and media rights and the development of new technologies and experiences that can enhance and supplement the traditional fan experience,” said Altman Solon Director Matt Del Percio. “In this dynamic global market, leagues, teams, and media partners have shown a willingness to try new things, from augmented and immersive viewing experience to new blockchain-based ownership and monetization models, to attract and retain fans – and the survey points to these efforts having the potential to pay off.”

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Other key data points include:

  • S. survey respondents watch about 4.3 hours of live sports per week.
  • 54% of U.S. sports fans watch women’s sports at least monthly.
  • 44% of U.S. sports fans watch highlights on social media at least monthly.
  • 27% of U.S. sports fans listen to sports radio at least monthly.

In developing this report, Altman Solon surveyed 17,000 adults across 17 countries, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain, UK, US, United Arab Emirates, between July – August this year. Respondents represent the country’s population, weighted by age, gender, and income. Altman Solon will release more results from the survey in the coming weeks.

About Altman Solon

Altman Solon is a global strategy consulting firm that works across the Telecommunications, Media, and Technology (TMT) sectors. Our consultants are united by passion and intellectual curiosity for TMT and work with market leaders, challenger brands, and investors in these industries.

Our collaborative team structure combines industry experts and data analysts to apply their experience and skills to create real-world solutions for global TMT players. We support our corporate clients in identifying, developing, and implementing company strategies, new market entry approaches, digital innovation, and global M&A. We help our investor clients understand markets, conduct due diligence, and confidently make high-stakes decisions.

Altman Solon was formed through a merger between Altman Vilandrie & Company and Solon Management Consulting in July 2020, cementing a decade-long partnership across the Atlantic to create the world’s largest global strategy consulting firm with an exclusive focus on the TMT sectors.

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