Sporting News Launches Research Program Delving into Digital Sports Viewership

Sporting News Media (SNM), the PERFORM Group company that operates SportingNews.com, the Sporting News (SN) ePlayer and the US edition of Goal.com, has today launched a proprietary research program, being called “Sporting Views”, which will shed light on how sports fans consume and engage with digital sports content in the US. SNM will analyze data from its SN ePlayer network, which reaches more than 20 million sports fans and serves up over 300 million streams in the US each month across 350 local and national publishers’ sites, news portals and key digital sports news destinations. The SN ePlayer is part of the largest sports VOD platform in the US, which has ranked number one in digital sports video viewership on comScore’s Video Metrix reports nine of the last twelve months. This first report looks at fan engagement and viewership from January 2014 through September 2014.

SportingViewsInfographicSporting News Media’s research finds that sports video content accessed from local publishers is not necessarily being viewed by sports fans located within the publisher’s local market. Analysis of sports video consumption from publishers in 10 of the nation’s largest markets (DMAs) revealed that 62.1% of fans accessing sports video content on these sites(s) did so from an out-of-market DMA.  Of the markets measured, Dallas (72.7%), Los Angeles (71.3%), New York (70.9%), Miami (70.3%) and San Francisco (60.8%) had the largest percentage of users viewing sports video content from outside of the immediate local market, followed by Detroit (59.9%), Boston (56.6%), Chicago (51.2%), and Seattle (49.9%).   In-market fans did, however, show to be more engaged, accounting for a proportionately larger percentage (50.2%) of video views on publisher sites in these markets.

Sports video consumption by day of week reveals broadly similar trends across all three quarters (Q1, Q2, and Q3) with fans coming online more on weekdays to view highlights from the previous day’s/night’s game(s).  A noticeable increase is seen on Mondays during quarters that include the NFL regular season or playoffs. Monday usage accounted for 17.8% of average weekly video consumption during the first quarter, and 16.7% in the third quarter.  During the second quarter of the year, viewership was relatively consistent from Monday through Thursday, probably related to the weekday nature of NBA, NHL and MLB which carry both regular season and playoff schedules in Q2. Saturdays accounted for the smallest percentage of average consumption across each of Q1 (10.3%), Q2 (10.8%), and Q3 (10.8%)

Among the top video clips viewed during the first nine months of 2014, the influence of major tent-pole events is evident, while three college football clips were also in the Top 5.  The most-viewed clip was from the SEC college basketball tournament final (“SEC Kentucky vs. Florida”) and benefitted from the surge in traffic leading up to the 2014 NCAA tournament.  The second most-viewed clip (“National Signing Day: The rich get richer”) reflects the passion of college football fan bases and the interest in where top recruits will sign, while the third most-viewed clip (“Why Group of Five should break away from Power Five”) provided analysis on the college football landscape and was another indication of fans’ overall interest in the sport. Highlights from this year’s Super Bowl (“Super Bowl XLVIII: Seahawks vs. Broncos highlights”) was the fourth most-viewed clip.

Sporting News Media analyzed internal US-based data collected with Adobe Analytics from January 2014 through September2014.  The data reflects digital usage of the SN ePlayer video platform, which delivers on average more than 300,000,000 total video streams in the US per month (comScore Video Metrix,  Sept 2013 – Aug 2014 average) across its network of 350 partner sites.

“As the largest digital sports video brand in the US, we see what’s driving interest with sports fans in the US across platforms, devices, destinations,” says Juan Delgado, CEO, Sporting News Media.” That’s valuable insight for publishers and advertisers looking to connect and engage with their audience in authentic and relevant ways. The ‘Sporting Views’ report will help drive more informed business decisions for leaders in and associated with the sports industry.”