Why it matters

Marketers should reconsider live sport’s traditional role as a deliverer of large-scale reach. Media fragmentation will likely lead to diminishing audiences – but those groups can be targeted in a more tailored, addressable manner.


  • The growth in sports media consumption is occurring outside the traditional pay-TV ecosystem. Formats benefiting include social media, video games, ‘fantasy’ sports competitions and betting.
  • Ad-free media owners represent only a thin slice of the overall sports media industry. The prohibitive cost of live sports rights ensures that advertising will continue to be a key part of the monetisation model.
  • Athletes have become influencers in their own right, offering incremental opportunities for brands to collaborate directly on content-related projects that go well beyond traditional endorsements and advertising.

Trend overview