Survey: 44% of Cable Subs Would Cancel If They Could Stream Live Sports and Events

Magnite Logo Survey

A new survey conducted for Magnite finds that 44% of cable subscribers would cancel cable if they could get access to live streamed sports and events.

More live events are being streamed, and once consumer awareness catches up, even more cord cutting could result, said Magnite, the largest sell-side advertising platform, which generates a growing share of its revenue from connected TV advertising.

"Anecdotally, we know that live TV, especially live sports, is unparalleled in its ability to get people engaged and we commissioned this study to better understand how people access and interact with this content," said Sean Buckley, chief revenue officer at Magnite. "One of the findings from this study is that engagement with live content extends to the advertising that airs alongside it. With more audiences tuning into live TV via streaming, it’s another indicator that advertisers should be actively exploring this channel.”

Magnite’s study, entitled CTV Live Streaming: TV’s Next Big Moment, found that 68% of current CTV viewers use at least one live streaming service.

Among viewers who stream live sports, 49% agreed with the statement that “TV ads are an important part of my TV watching experience," with 62% saying they had discovered new products as a result of watching ads on streaming services. 

Among those sports streamers, 67% said they pay more attention to ads that match their lifestyle and interests.

Also: Magnite, fuboTV Team To Offer Addressable Ads in Sports on CTV

“CTV is a premium viewing experience with highly engaged audiences that can’t be reached via traditional linear and pay TV,” said Diana Horowitz, senior VP, advertising sales at fuboTV. “Historically live sports kept audiences tied to their cable subscriptions. That’s no longer the  case with live sports including marquee events and regional sports networks widely available on CTV platforms like fuboTV. In fact, 90% of our viewers watch fuboTV live and 93% of sports content on fuboTV is viewed live.”

The report also said that live sports streamers are likely to watch multiple ad-supported services and use an average of 3.6 sports apps. Sports fans unsurprisingly prefer to watch live over watching on demand. The report notes that 70% of live sports programming is watched in real time. One edge that cable or broadcast TV has over streaming services is a delay to live TV viewed on the internet due to latency in the technology.

The survey was conducted for Magnite by Lucid, which surveyed 1,500 U.S. adult television watchers (at least 7 hours per week) online between December 23 and December 30. ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.