Sporting News Media Research Delves into How Fans Consumer NFL Content

Sporting News Media, a PERFORM Group company, which operates SportingNews.com, the Sporting News (SN) ePlayer and the U.S. edition of Goal.com, has released its latest “Sporting Views” proprietary research, which analyzed data from its SN ePlayer network, which reaches more than 30 million sports fans and serves up over 400 million streams in the U.S. each month across 350 local and national publishers’ sites, news portals and key digital sports news destinations. The research sheds light on how sports fans engage with digital sports video content in the U.S. This latest report studies consumption trends of Super Bowl and NFL fans in Q4 2014 through February 3, 2015.

Once the Super Bowl ended, fans turned to their digital devices to consume content and engage in conversations about the game – and the water cooler moments. On Monday and Tuesday following the game, total video views increased nearly 50% as fans sought out game highlights, video analysis and commentary. Monday’s consumption of Pro Football video content more than doubled from Super Bowl Sunday (+114.8%). The two days following the Super Bowl, there were over 10 million Pro Football video views, which is an increase of 95.6% from the previous year.

SportingNewsNFLWhile content surrounding the critical Malcolm Butler interception was expectedly among the most viewed after the game, other popular clips demonstrated fans’ interest in analysis and discussion of the lasting impact of Super Bowl XLIX.  The top videos viewed included content related to Tom Brady’s legacy and whether he has surpassed Joe Montana in the “best-ever” argument after winning his fourth Super Bowl.

Analysis of how fans accessed the SportingNews.com site during the game revealed shifting consumption from Desktop to Mobile devices as kickoff approached and throughout the game. Desktop traffic began to decline before the game began, and decreased 26% from 6pm-7pm ET.  Mobile phone traffic, conversely, increased after kickoff and continued through the first half of the game, accounting for an average of 70% of uniques visiting during the game window.

Rich Routman, President, Sporting News Media commented: “Fans are looking to extend Super Bowl festivities and immersive digital video experiences and social discovery are leading the way.”

In understanding the digital consumption patterns of sports fans throughout the year, the research suggested that football fans are more prone to consume digital game highlights on national media sites than local, while baseball fans may lean more on local media sites.  This trend may indicate that the NFL is now becoming “America’s ‘National Pastime” with more people identifying as NFL fans than fans of only local teams.

Analysis of NFL video consumption across all quarters in 2014 revealed that while the most concentrated peak occurs on Mondays (24.1% during regular season and 27.7% during playoffs), there is still a significant percentage of consumption occurring throughout the week, as fans remain engaged with the content despite most games being played on Sunday. In Q4, weekend viewership across the ePlayer was higher overall than in previous quarters, influenced by consumption of both NFL and college football content.  But as with both Q1 and Q3, Mondays (17.5%) accounted for the largest percentage of overall video consumption across all sports in Q4.

NFL weekday consumption peaks at 9am (8%) and then again at 12pm (8%) before beginning to fall throughout the day and into the afternoon. Fans are largely consuming video highlights content during the morning hours.

NFL weekend consumption shows a less drastic morning peak compared to weekdays, but it also occurs at 9am (6%). Consumption declines through the morning hours, but begins to pick up immediately following the early games (1pm ET), remaining steady and again increasing upon conclusion of the second round of games before declining into the evening hours.

Sporting News Media analyzed internal U.S.-based data collected with Adobe Analytics in 2014 as well as custom analysis surrounding the Super Bowl.  The data includes digital usage of the SN ePlayer video platform, which delivers on average more than 400,000,000 total video streams in the U.S. per month (comScore Video Metrix, 2014 average) across its network of 350 partner sites.