83% viewers prefer watching sports on TV over digital: Research

Viewers credit big screen experience, audio-visual quality, no distractions from notifications and watching matches with friends and family as the distinct motivations to watch sports on TV

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Sep 20, 2022 10:30 AM  | 3 min read
research

It has been established well beyond doubt that the TV continues to be the preferred destination for sports viewing in the country. In the previous article--Sports on television – The largest platform for brands - Exchange4media--we discussed the unmatched viewership of 700 million for sports on television in India, an incomparable scale for brands to leverage.

While numbers indicate quantitative dominance, even qualitative preference for watching sports heavily bends towards TV. As per a YouGov research, 83% audiences prefer TV as a platform for consuming sports content. The preference for watching sports on TV, as per the survey, is built upon distinct benefits such as:

⦁ Big-screen experience – Viewers prefer television for the immersive experience the big screen provides while consuming sports content. With 7x the screen size compared to smartphones, TV allows a far more engaging experience for viewers.

⦁ Superior audio-visual quality – The audio-visual quality that TV provides creates an enhanced experience for viewers, almost recreating a stadium like feel for viewers.

⦁ No persisting distractions that smartphones create through notifications – With sports content providing high-octane entertainment for viewers, TV commands a strong preference as it doesn’t have any persisting distractions that smartphones tend to have through notifications. With multitasking, the screen size reduces significantly into a picture-in-picture mode which can make the stream almost 80% smaller in size on the phone screen.


⦁ Ability to enjoy a collective viewing experience – Sports as a content genre attracts collective viewing as an experience for the passion that viewers share for the content. When family and friends come together, TV creates an enhanced shared experience among a group of people that cannot be substituted by a phone screen.

The factors that determine a strong TV preference among viewers for sports content also benefit brands advertising on TV significantly. Collective viewing experiences cannot be substituted by solo viewing on full screen during a live match. As per a global study, 63% viewers discuss what they are watching during a live sports broadcast including brand communications. 33% of viewers are more likely to discuss brands on social media that they see on TV than digital while 23% viewers are more likely to purchase brands that advertise on TV during live sports events. New age brands have witnessed disproportionate benefits across key digital metrics through advertising on sports on TV, driving higher social engagement, online searches, and web traffic.

Sports, especially cricket on TV, has consistently seen the most iconic ad campaign launches over the years. The TV experience captures higher viewer attention and helps building long-term memory structures, two critical factors that showcase higher engagement with brand communications.

For these reasons, TV will continue to be the preferred platform for brands and sports fans in India.

Collective viewing generates massive engagement and shared understanding of the content than live match.

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