A study conducted by the Sports Business Journal found that sports events dominated the top 100 telecasts of 2022. Of these sports events, the majority were games by the National Football League (NFL), as they occupied 82 spots of the top 100 telecasts.
Starting with 2012, major US cable TV and satellite TV providers have lost a total of 25 million subscribers. The majority of these lost customers switched to streaming services. The domination of sports events on television – particularly the NFL – points to cable’s increasing reliance on sports telecasts in order to keep customers.
Though streaming is certainly the hot-topic of the day, a 2021 Nielsen report indicated that streaming services like Youtube and Netflix account for just about a quarter of total US TV viewing times. In contrast, broadcast and cable accounted for 64% of viewing times. It is still the case that what is primarily propping up cable TV is sports.
Should the NFL undertake new avenues in terms of media and media rights, this could spell a significant amount of lost revenue for cable companies. In fact, there have already been some signs of trouble for cable companies. For example, Amazon Prime has become the exclusive home of “Thursday Night Football” for a price tag of a billion a year for 11 years. Previously through May of 2022, nearly 37%of Fox’s primetime viewership came from sports viewing, which included “Thursday Night Football.”
The complete domination of streaming services in the industry seems a ways away. However, cable’s reliance on sports events for its returning viewership and revenue cannot be understated.
Photo by Riley McCullough on Unsplash.