No Live Sports—Now What For Fans?

April 12, 2020

With most of the country under some recommended ‘social distancing,’ more than 2 in 5 people say their entertainment consumption has gone up as a direct result of COVID-19.

At the same time, recent precautionary measures in response to the coronavirus outbreak have driven the suspension and cancellation of many, if not all, live events, most notably sports. From the suspension of the NBA and NHL midseason to the delayed start of MLB to now the postponement of the Summer Olympics, sports fans throughout the US are left wondering – what are we going to watch? To talk about? Horizon Media checked in to understand how people were coping with the loss of live events.

While most people (80%) think the suspension of live sports and other events was the “right call,” sports fans aren’t willing to forego sports altogether. While they wait for leagues to return, fans are intent on staying in touch with anything sports-related that they can find – whether that be in the form of tracking offseason news, watching highlights and clips online, or even keeping up with how athletes are managing their own social distancing.

Sports is a key part of American culture, with many finding it to be a key part of their own personal identify. With more than 70% of people claiming to watch at least some sports and almost 1 in 5 “already going crazy” without live sports, opportunities exist for brands to creatively help connect these fans to the sports content and other entertainment they crave.

Source: Horizon Media, Finger on the Pulse. Survey fielded 3/18/20- 3/28/20, n= 1,156

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