• Loading stock data...
Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Challenges Arise As Sports Streaming Surges in Shifting Media Landscape

  • Traditional TV usage falls below 50% of all consumption for first time.
  • Business models have yet to keep up with shift in consumer patterns.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A long-expected tipping point has finally arrived for the media landscape, one that will significantly affect the business of sports.

Usage of traditional TV  — broadcast and linear pay television — in the U.S. fell below 50% of all TV consumption for the first time in July, according to Nielsen data. Streaming services, conversely, reached an all-time-high 38.7% share of TV use last month, while other uses such as video-on-demand, audio streaming, and DVD playback amounted to 11.6%.

Recent statistics illustrate an evolving trend, characterized by ongoing shifts in pay-TV subscribers and evident in significant sports rights deals like MLS’ pact with Apple. Even the NFL moved “Thursday Night Football” from Fox to Amazon as streaming surpassed cable usage last year.

But while these numbers show a growing shift from consumers, the business models to support that activity haven’t kept up.

One need only look to the bankrupt Diamond Sports Group, a Pac-12 conference in tatters, or the staunchly pro-linear Fox Corp. to see how streaming revenue still hasn’t come close to the reach of its traditional counterpart.

“Even with this move to streaming, everybody is still figuring out the business model,” Chris Russo, CEO of sports advisory firm Fifth Generation Sports, told Front Office Sports. “The jury is still out on what the optimal model is, because we’re really still in the middle of the changeover.”

The next several months will provide a key litmus test for the durability of the streaming-first trend: Nielsen expects a sharp increase in broadcast and cable TV usage with the return of college and pro football.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Jul 4, 2024; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Juan Soto (22) reacts after hitting a two run home run in the seventh inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Yankee Stadium.

The $500 Million Juan Soto Question Lingers at MLB’s All-Star Game

Yankees superstar could attract second-largest player contract in U.S. team sports history.

As Another Men’s Golf Major Season Wraps, Still No PGA Tour-LIV Deal

The Open Championship begins Thursday at Royal Troon.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

MLB Draft, ASG Highlight Teams’ Shifting Approach


Featured Today

Jan 7, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley (0) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans during the first half at Nissan Stadium.

Without Hard-Line Bans, Pro Athletes and Personnel Will Keep Betting on Sports

Penalties often aren’t stringent or consistent enough to deter banned behavior.
Oct 2, 2021; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goddell speaks during the Don Shula Celebration of Life at Hard Rock Stadium.
July 13, 2024

The NFL Is Confident It Can Overturn the Sunday Ticket Verdict

The league may have good reason to believe it can win.
July 8, 2024

NFLPA Report Cards Have Become the ‘Talk of the Locker Room’ Across..

NFLPA report cards have become the ‘talk of the locker room.’
July 7, 2024

The New College Sports Insiders Are Graphic Designers

Joe Tipton and Hayes Fawcett have become premier news-breakers on social media.
July 10, 2024

‘Where’s truTV?’ March Madness Channel Is Now TNT Sports’ New Star

Warner Bros. Discovery will make its sports emphasis on truTV ‘even more pronounced and consistent.’
July 11, 2024

Will They or Won’t They? TNT Must Match Bids or Say Goodbye to NBA

A spurned media partner has sued the league before.

TopSpin 2K25 Brings the Legends of Tennis to Your Living Room

2K sports is reviving a classic with TopSpin 2K25.
July 10, 2024

NBA Agrees to $76 Billion in Media-Rights Deals, but TNT Still Looms

Welcome back, ‘Roundball Rock.’ Farewell, ‘Inside the NBA’?
Stadium with NFL logo at the mid-field line
July 10, 2024

‘Nonsensical’: NFL Blasts Massive Jury Award in Latest Sunday Ticket Case Filings

The league asked for a new trial and called the damages ‘indefensible.’
May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Referee Kenny Bayless (center) separates Manny Pacquiao (left) from Floyd Mayweather during their boxing bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
July 9, 2024

The Most Watched Boxing Matches Ever

The most-watched boxing match was the 2015 bout between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao which drew 4.6 million PPV buys.
July 8, 2024

Fox Sports Is Winning Its Bet on Soccer Media-Rights Deals

The network has media rights to Copa América and Euro 2024.