Where Are the Live Sports Fans Going? A Perspective for Advertisers


Advertisers have many questions about streaming and COVID-19. This post highlights patterns seen in the United States in March 2020. Data is not presented as a leading indicator of any broader trends on the platform. Unless otherwise indicated, all data is Roku streaming data and/or Roku ACR data. 

Last week, we shared how streaming habits evolved in Roku homes since many Americans began sheltering in place. This week, we dive into live linear sports. Following the cancellations or postponements of March Madness, the NBA season, and the NHL season, where can advertisers reach these viewers on the TV screen?

NHL & NBA: Linear sports fans streamed more entertainment

Roku users who watched the NHL or NBA on linear TV in February increased streaming hours on the Roku platform faster than the average Roku user. Overall linear TV usage among these sports fans is flat. And while these linear TV sports viewers are not streaming more sports, they are watching more Film & TV, Lifestyle, Music, and News on the Roku platform.

Change in daily streaming hours among linear NBA and NHL viewers

Graph

Change in weekly streaming hours among linear NBA and NHL viewers

March 2020 Week 1 vs. March 2020 Week 3

 

NBA Fans

NHL Fans

News

92.15%

119.83%

Film & TV74.92%67.56%
Lifestyle

66.74%

51.92%

Live TV

52.88%

60.12%

Music

42.99%

63.53%

Reality

41.11%

30.29%

Kids

33.48%

31.29%

International

23.42%

34.25%

Comedy

15.04%

19.66%

Sports

-49.99%

-71.42%


NBA & NHL: Younger, wealthier fans shifted more quickly to streaming

Overall, younger and higher income fans of the NBA & NHL on linear TV had the highest rate of increase to streaming. Among NBA viewers, homes with $50k-$ 75k household income saw the largest gains. For the NHL, households with adults ages 25-34 streamed more.

Change in weekly streaming hours among linear NBA and NHL viewers

March 2020 Week 1 vs. March 2020 Week 3

 

NBA Fans

NHL Fans

18 - 24

36%57%
25 - 3414%64%
35 - 4462%38%
45 - 5439%41%
55 - 6447%50%
65+74%47%
$25K - $50K56%56%
$50K - $75K72%42%
$75K - $100K55%3%
$100K - $150K55%67%
$150K+43%46%
<$25K56%21%

March 2020 Week 1 was chosen as a control week (live sports airing), March 2020 Week 3 the first full week without live sports airing). Source: Experian, 2020, Roku streaming data, Roku ACR data
 
 
Last year's NCAA March Madness linear viewers are increasingly streaming more Film & TV this year

Roku users who watched the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament on linear TV are also streaming more this March. Over the last three weeks, these March Madness fans shifted their prime time viewing to entertainment channels in the Film & TV genre.

Streaming hours by genre among linear NCAA March Madness Fans

Graph

Roku recently launched Home Together, an initiative focused on helping the nearly 100 million people in households with Roku devices find and watch the content that matters most right now. As you're reviewing your media strategy, ask your Roku team for deeper insights and opportunities for your brand. And most importantly, please stay safe. We are all in this together.

For future insights, stay connected with updates from Roku here. To pass on feedback or topics you'd like to see here - or if you just have a question - please email adresearch@roku.com.




Dan Robbins

VP, Ad Marketing & Partner Solutions