Sports fans would switch to online if TV packages lose broadcasting rights- survey

Aug 11, 2017 | Online video

The majority of consumers subscribed to a TV package that includes sport would likely cancel or switch their contract if their provider lost broadcasting rights, according to new research.

The study, from Broadband Genie, indicates that this could become a problem with Amazon and other companies looking into the possibility of obtaining the rights for popular sports.

Key findings:

  • 78% of sport subscribers would consider switching or cancelling if their provider lost rights
  • 57% of those say sport channels had a ‘strong’ influence on their TV package
  • More than half of sport subscribers currently signed up to multiple sport channels

Research by broadband and TV comparison website Broadband Genie has found the majority (78%) of sport subscribers would consider leaving or switching provider if they lost the rights to their favorite sports. By far the most in demand was football (74%), followed by motorsport (27%), rugby (23%) and tennis (23%).

Sport is a big influence for most of these subscribers when choosing a TV package. 57% said these channels had a strong influence on which TV package they chose, while a further 29% said it had at least a slight influence. It was also found that of the 46% surveyed that had a sport channel with their TV package, just over half (51%) had subscribed and paired multiple sport channels, such as Sky Sports and BT Sport.

Rob Hilborn, Head of Strategy at Broadband Genie, said: “Providers are often criticised for spending huge sums of money on sport, but what’s clear is that failing to invest in this content would risk upsetting a core base of their TV subscribers. Many are subscribed to their services purely for sport content, leaving providers in a predicament: continue to spend record sums on securing these rights, or lose their subscribers to a competitor.”

Amazon and other tech giants’ recent move to host sport could present new challenges for the traditional sport broadcasters in the UK. Just over half (51%) of people who don’t have a TV package say they don’t because of the cost of the service. In comparison a service such as Amazon Instant, which just secured the rights to broadcast ATP tennis in the UK [1], is a much cheaper option.

Rob continued: “This could be the start of a major shift in the sport broadcasting market. These global tech companies have huge stockpiles of cash, meaning companies such as BT and Sky would struggle to fend them off if they make acquiring sports rights a serious priority.

“For the consumer, this could open the door to getting their favourite sports at a lower cost. But equally the market could become even more dispersed, leaving sport fans needing even more services to get the content they want.”


Broadband Genie surveyed 2,275 people from across the UK. The survey was conducted between 15th June – 11 July 2017.

More information from this survey can be found here:

Additional data and analysis can be found in Broadband Genie’s blog post here:

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