11 Sports Streaming Statistics Showing How Huge it is in 2023

At present, sports hold a significant share of TV viewership, constituting approximately 37% of the total viewership on TV Everywhere. Various streaming platforms and services offer diverse sports content, catering to the preferences of sports enthusiasts. Both national and college sports have witnessed an increasing presence on streaming platforms, granting fans easy access to their…

At present, sports hold a significant share of TV viewership, constituting approximately 37% of the total viewership on TV Everywhere. Various streaming platforms and services offer diverse sports content, catering to the preferences of sports enthusiasts.

Both national and college sports have witnessed an increasing presence on streaming platforms, granting fans easy access to their favorite matches and events. The advancement in technology has further enhanced the viewing experience, providing high-resolution options across multiple devices. It is evident that the landscape of sports spectating and following has undergone a profound transformation due to the rise of streaming services.

As time progresses, the sports streaming industry continues to grow in prominence, signifying its escalating importance. This article aims to explore the latest statistics related to sports streaming and its transformative impact on both fans and the sports industry.

Main Numbers:

  • A significant portion, 43% of cable subscribers, firmly express their intention to retain their cable subscriptions due to their passion for sports content.
  • Despite comprising just 2.7% of the content on US broadcast TV, sports programming continues to be a substantial revenue generator, contributing billions to the industry.
  • Over the course of six years, live-streamed sporting events in the US have doubled, indicating the growing popularity of online sports streaming.
  • In China, 54% of the population prefers watching sports live online, whereas in Peru, a substantial 83% of viewers opt for live TV streaming.
  • An interesting trend emerges when comparing age groups, with 14% of sports fans over the age of 35 subscribing to multiple streaming platforms, while the younger bracket of 18 to 34 years old accounts for 30%.
  • In the US, NFL Sunday Night Football and NFL Thursday Night Football emerge as the most-watched TV shows, attracting 18.14 million and 15.14 million viewers, respectively.
  • Women’s college basketball tournaments are experiencing a boost in popularity, with streaming viewership rising by 11%.
  • A considerable 65% of sports fans express a preference for paying for online streaming services rather than traditional pay-TV subscriptions to access sports events.
  • Despite the availability of legitimate streaming options, 40% of sports fans still resort to illegal websites to stream sports, particularly NBA and NFL content.

Sports Streaming by Numbers

Sports streaming’s continuous growth and evolving trends are undeniably influenced by the unwavering interest of sports enthusiasts. Recent findings from a study indicate that 28% of Americans derive enjoyment from streaming sports, and on average, each American spends at least 4 hours streaming live sports content.

The following data sheds light on the various aspects contributing to the rise of sports streaming, encompassing industry dynamics, emerging trends, demographics, and the availability of diverse services:

A noteworthy report discloses that a staggering 94% of the top programs on broadcast TV are related to sports. Even for cable TV, a significant 69% of their top programs feature sports content, effectively establishing sports’ dominance over traditional television and ensuring consistently high viewership figures.

The future projection anticipates further growth in the sports streaming domain, but for now, it is essential to delve into the other developments unfolding within the sports streaming industry.

1.  The global online live video sports streaming market in 2020 was valued at $18.11 billion.

The sports streaming market is on an impressive trajectory, with a projected Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 21.5% from 2020, aiming to reach a substantial value of $87.33 billion by 2028. This exponential growth indicates the market’s significant potential and expanding appeal. Sports enthusiasts play a pivotal role in driving this surge, as their passion and demand for sports content fuel the market’s increase in size and overall value.

Moreover, several contributing factors have propelled sports streaming to the forefront, among them being the emergence and popularity of multi-platform streaming services. Prominent players in this space include Hulu, Twitch, AppleTV, and Vimeo Livestream. These diverse platforms offer a wide array of sports content, catering to the varied interests of fans and contributing to the continuous growth of the sports streaming market.

2. Sports programming helped skyrocket linear TV viewership by 22%.

In 2020, daily viewership of linear TV in U.S. households experienced a decline, dropping to less than 50%, marking the lowest figure in the past seven quarters.

Some may assume that the surge of sports streaming is responsible for the decline in linear TV viewership. However, the reality is quite the opposite, as sports streaming plays a significant role in sustaining traditional TV viewership by providing an attractive and engaging option for viewers. By offering sports content through streaming services, traditional TV manages to retain its relevance and keeps viewers engaged in the overall television landscape.

3. 43% of sports fans need help to cut their cable TV cords.

In response to inquiries about their decision to retain their cable subscriptions, many subscribers cited their strong attachment to sports as the primary reason. This further highlights how sports streaming contributes to the sustained vibrancy of traditional TV viewership.

4. 31% of linear TV revenue is generated by live sports programming.

Throughout 2021, sports viewing on linear TV accounted for a mere 8% of the total time spent by viewers in the United States. Despite this relatively low figure, sports streaming managed to contribute significantly to ad revenue, making up one-third of the earnings from live sports programming. This remarkable feat is even more notable considering that sports content only comprised 2.7% of the overall broadcasted content.

The statistics clearly demonstrate the profound influence that sports and sports channels wield within the TV industry, showcasing their enduring relevance and appeal to audiences despite the changing landscape of media consumption.

5. Live-streaming sports went from 48% to 86% in the US in 6 years.

In 2011, the proportion of live-streamed US sporting events stood at a modest 48%. However, this figure witnessed a substantial surge and nearly doubled to 86% by 2017, reflecting the growing fondness of Americans for live-streaming sports. This remarkable increase in live-streamed events can be attributed to the expanding array of options and enhanced accessibility that sports streaming platforms have provided, igniting a newfound interest and enthusiasm among viewers.

6. The NCAA generated $870 million from TV broadcast and licensing rights in 2020.

The NCAA heavily relies on streaming revenue derived from various platforms, including CBS, ABC, FOX, ESPN, FuboTV, YouTube TV, and Hulu Live TV. Among these, the television and licensing rights agreement with CBS and Turner Broadcasting System Inc emerges as the primary revenue generator for the organization.

As the contract with all streaming platforms nears its conclusion, the projected revenue for the NCAA is an impressive $10.55 billion, a staggering amount that underscores the significance of sports streaming in contributing to the financial success of the association.

Key Viewers and Their Habits in Sports Streaming

The enjoyment of watching sports events is widespread and appealing to people of all backgrounds, but it appears that men have a stronger affinity for them. According to a survey conducted in 2022, a significant 76% of the respondents who regularly watch sports are men. In the United States, 19% of male participants in a study admitted to indulging in daily sports viewing.

In addition to men, there are other demographics that contribute significantly to the surge in sports streaming viewership. Let’s delve into their preferences and viewing habits to gain a comprehensive understanding of the factors driving the growing popularity of sports streaming.

7. 54% of China watches sports live online.

China takes the forefront as the top spectator of live online sports events, a testament to its massive population of mobile internet users. With a staggering 940 million users accessing various platforms for sports streaming, the nation offers unparalleled ease of access to sports content.

Notably, in the city of Xinhua alone, an impressive 213 million individuals engaged in sports streaming activities during the year 2020, showcasing the immense popularity and widespread adoption of sports streaming within the region.

8. Peru had the most sports viewership on live TV at 83%.

The nation of Peru stands out as a frontrunner in the survey of live TV sports viewership. Notably, Peru experienced the most substantial surge in TV viewership just two weeks after reporting its first COVID-19 case. A remarkable 3.44 million Peruvians opted to tune in to their television sets for entertainment during that period, highlighting the significant impact of the pandemic on media consumption habits in the country.

9. 30% of fans aged between 18 to 34 are more likely to be subscribed to multiple sports streaming services.

The observed trend can be attributed to the younger generations’ natural inclination and familiarity with technology. In contrast, the percentage significantly declined to 14% among older respondents aged 35 and above, who typically only subscribed to one or two sports streaming platforms. This disparity in tech adoption reflects the varying preferences and comfort levels with digital platforms across different age groups.

10. 65% of millennials and younger viewers like to stream sports using their smartphones.

The ubiquity of smartphones among millennials and Gen-Z is undeniable, with numerous reports highlighting their significant usage for streaming activities. Consequently, these devices become the preferred choice for young individuals when it comes to watching sports events.

In the ever-evolving landscape of sports streaming, trends emerge and leave a lasting impact on both fans and the industry. Some of the current trends in sports streaming include the rising popularity of eSports and the adoption of pay-per-view models, especially in major leagues such as the NFL. These trends reflect the dynamic nature of the sports streaming realm and its continuous efforts to cater to the changing preferences and demands of viewers.

11. The NFL Sunday Night Football had 18.4 million viewers in the 2021 and 2022seasons. 

In 2022, the NFL solidified its position as the most televised sports league, boasting an impressive average viewership of 16.7 million.

Within the United States, the NFL Sunday Night Football emerged as the uncontested leader, claiming the title of the most-watched TV show, while NFL Thursday Night Football closely followed with an estimated 15.4 million viewers.


Considering the latest statistics, the future of the sports streaming industry appears promising, with continued growth projected in viewership, revenue, and marketing opportunities. As more individuals opt to cut the cord and switch to convenient streaming options, the demand for sports streaming is expected to surge. Additionally, as sporting events and leagues increasingly opt for live-streaming or sell their streaming rights, the industry will need to adapt and innovate further to cater to the evolving needs and preferences of sports enthusiasts.


Read also:

Sports Streaming Statistics to Show How Big It Is In 2023

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