Aluma research casts doubt on significance of live sport to pay TV  

A new consumer survey from US research firm Aluma suggests that only 8% of pay TV subscribers in the US would “definitely” cancel their subscription if their favourite sport moved its live games exclusively to SVOD services like Netflix or Prime Video.

Michael Greeson

Among US heads of household that selected professional football (NFL) as their favourite TV sport, 11% would definitely cancel the service if it moved exclusively to a streaming service, compared with 7% of NBA fans and 8% of MLB fans.

“We presented this scenario to get a sense of how bad it could get for PayTV assuming the total shift of high-value sports from broadcast & cable to streaming services,” said Michael Greeson, founder and director of research at Aluma. “The findings are contrary to the narrative that, without live TV sports, PayTV couldn’t survive. Perhaps live sports are less valuable to PayTV stickiness than we’ve believed.”

Greeson said the research should not be used as an argument in favour of dropping live professional sports. But it does suggest that there is something other than live TV sports that keeps subscribers from churning. Greeson said complacency is a factor – though it also seems likely that increased investment in other genres is playing a part.

Aluma’s data is drawn from a 2022 survey of 2398 US heads of household that subscribe to a home internet service.

Tags: Aluma, US

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