Following Monday’s look at the potential of dedicated sports video on-demand services, today’s chart provides insight into social media’s place in the evolving sports viewing landscape.

Since we started tracking the use of social in watching/following sports online, the figure for this has already seen increases among Sports Fans. 4 in 10 of these consumers who self-report a strong interest in watching sport now say this is a main motivation behind their social media use, showing how social has made some headway towards becoming a sports viewing hub.

When we take a regional approach, the position of social media in sports becomes clearer. With many of the most popular sports teams being based in Europe and North America, it’s Sports Fans in other regions that are most likely to be using social as a channel for keeping up with sports online, likely for those games that are broadcast overseas in different time zones.

Social is likely to play a big part in the future of sport viewership, especially if the social media giants, sports broadcasters and rights holders maximise the commercial opportunity of this channel through inclusive and real-time communication. As social influencers continue to gather large followings that stretch over borders and platforms as well, sports influencers specifically could have a key role in normalizing social as a sports hub online.

Sports Fans are defined as internet users aged 16-64 who have a strong interest in watching sport.

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