Sports viewers embrace second-screen apps

DetailsEditor | 16 July 2015

Sports rights holders will be licking their lips as TDG research has revealed that they are well-positioned to profit from huge engagement from US broadband users who view televised sports for second-screen apps.

Indeed the report, Second Screens & The Future of Sports Engagement, shows that as many as a third of US broadband users have used a second-screen sports app while watching a game on TV. TDG expects engagement will further broaden and deepen during the next ten years as more leagues and conferences introduce their own apps, and as these apps become better attuned to the needs of live sports viewers.

"Portable devices are becoming a must-have companion for many television sports viewers," noted TDG Senior Analyst and report author Alan Wolk. "Simultaneous access to real-time updates and related media on smartphones and tablets is becoming routine for a growing number of fans. Second-screen use mirrors the way fans behave while they are watching a live sporting event. Television sports viewers scream at the set during critical plays. They chat with their friends. They go online to look up stats. Second screen apps support these same activities while enhancing their engagement with the televised game."

TDG believes that the importance of second-screen sports apps transcends simply enhancing the viewer experience. Wolk adds: "Building a large base of second-screen app users is immensely beneficial to the leagues, teams, and networks that create modern sports experiences. It allows them to collect vast amounts of data about their audiences, who they are, what other sports or programmes a viewer may like, or what camera angles they prefer. Rights holders can then use this data to drive audience acquisition, inform programming decisions, even refine ad targeting."

Yet even though the use of second-screen sports apps will likely enjoy healthy advances during the next decade, TDG does not expect growth to be evenly distributed. It warns that while those sports interests that incorporate second-screens into the viewing experience will reap healthy benefits, those that fail to leverage these new platforms, and the valuable data they produce, will not only miss out on new revenue opportunities but risk being left behind.