SVG, CEA research finds sports fans got (video) game vs. non-sports fans

Sports fans play more video games than non-sports fans, according to research from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the Sports Video Group (SVG). In the Third Annual Sports & Technology Study, sixty percent of sports fans who report owning a high-definition television also own a video game console compared to forty-three percent of non-sports fans. The study also finds that thirty-seven percent of sports fans who own an HDTV say they will either buy their first video game system or upgrade their current console in 2008. That’s compared to twenty-one percent of all consumers.

“Sports fans in general own more consumer electronics products than non-fans and video games are certainly no exception, ” says Tim Herbert, CEA’s senior director of market research. “When it comes to specific sports, football is king, both on television and in sports video games. ” The study found basketball and baseball came in second and third respectively in sports video game popularity.

Video games are also complementing sports viewership. Among consumers who own both and HDTV and a video game console, fifty-four percent say sports video games makes them very or somewhat more interested in watching sports on TV. “There is a direct correlation between playing sports video games and watching sports on TV,” says Ken Kerschbaumer, editorial director of SVG. “Nearly seven in ten men surveyed said playing sports video games increases their interest in watching an actual sporting event.”

Interactive features on the three main next-generation video game consoles are also helping drive sales. “Products such as Nintendo’s Wii Fit add a physical component to video game playing while PLAYSTATION 3 and Xbox 360 can unite gamers across the world,” according to Herbert. “With broadband Internet now in nearly sixty percent of U.S. homes, there’s no need to play a game against the computer when your broadband-enabled console can play a friend who lives 1,000 miles away.”

According to CEA’s January 2008 U.S. Sales & Forecast, total gaming hardware and content revenue will climb twelve percent in 2008, totaling nearly $18 billion. Add in gaming accessories and total revenues could approach $19 billion.

CEA’s Third Annual Sports and Technology Study was fielded to an online national sample of 2,278 U.S. adults during the period January 14 – 21, 2008. Results are weighted to reflect national online demographics. The margin of sampling error at 95 percent confidence for aggregate results is +/- 2.1 percent. It was designed and formulated by CEA and SVG. The complete study is available free to CEA and SVG member companies. Non-members will be able to purchase the study at www.eBrain.org.