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Sports Fans in No Hurry to Cut the Cord, Finds Clearleap Survey

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It's been the common wisdom in the streaming video industry that access to live sports is the reason many people stick with cable, but is the common wisdom right? Clearleap released a white paper detailing the results of a survey meant to answer that question. The short answer is that most sports fans find enough value in their pay TV subscriptions that they're not interested in switching.

With Sling TV offering ESPN as part of its $20 per month subscription, Clearleap, an IP-based content management and distribution company, wanted to know if cable had lost a critical advantage. It found that 67 percent of cable subscribers said that sports wasn't the primary reason they kept their subscription, and that they enjoyed the variety of programming. Among sports fan, almost half said that they enjoyed cable's variety and that sports wasn't the only reason they subscribed.

Looking only at sports fans, Clearleap asked what they would pay for cable-free streaming access to their favorite sports. Over half—51 percent—weren't interested at any price, while 37 percent would pay under $20 per month.

Other questions showed a large block of viewers not interested in moving from their traditional viewing experience: 57 percent of all viewers had never watched authenticated TV Everywhere content, while 87 percent of sports fans preferred to watch live sports through their broadcast or cable TV connection. Also, 45 percent of sports fan had never downloaded a sports-related app.

Clearleap conducted an online survey of 435 viewers between the ages of 18 and 49 in January 2015. It concluded that sports isn't the critical element to the cable bundle.

"It’s long been thought that a standalone sports service would signal the death of the traditional cable package, so we were surprised to discover that sports aren’t keeping most fans tied to the bundle," Clearleap concludes.

The white paper is available to download (registration required).

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