Big sports fans are big TV consumers: study

Cord-cutting rates are slower among those who watch sport every day.
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The amount of Canadians who watch sports every day is on the decline – but sports fans are playing a key role in the fight against cord-cutting.

According to a new study by the MTM, 24% of the 4,000 Anglophone Canadians surveyed say they consume sports content “every day or almost every day.” That’s down from 29% last year.

Most of the respondents to the survey watch sports some of the time – 14% say they watch two to three times per week, 11% say they watch once per week and 10% say they watch less than that. Those numbers have seen little change since last year, but the number of Canadians who do not access sports at all has grown to 39% (up from 35%).

Television remains the dominant medium for sports consumption; 42% say they consume sports through TV. However, one-third of Canadians consume sports content online (through a variety of media such as online clips, articles and live-streamed broadcasts). Only 3% say they subscribe to a dedicated sports streaming service.

Those in the “heavy sports users” category – people who watch sports every day or almost every day – are more likely to be male (34%) versus female (15%). The age group most likely to consume sports on a near-daily basis is the 50 to 64-year-old demographic (26%).

These heavy sports consumers also tend to watch more traditional TV – they average 13.4 hours of linear TV viewing per week, compared to 10.4 hours among other respondents. In particular, they are twice as likely to subscribe to both TSN and Sportsnet as all other respondents.

While cord-cutting has been a slow-but-steady process among Canadians – 73% of all respondents still subscribe to traditional TV, compared to 82% in fall 2014 – the rate of dropping has been slower among heavy sports consumers. Currently, 84% of heavy sports consumers subscribe to traditional TV, down from 89% in fall 2014.