National broadcast and cable TV networks aired over 43,700 hours of sporting events in the U.S. last year, according to new statistics released in Nielsen's report on "The Changing Face of Sports Media." Nielsen also found that advertisers spent an estimated $7.6 billion on sports programming alone in 2009.
According to the report, sports fans turned to the computer screen in overwhelming numbers to complement TV viewership. Nielsen estimates that 81 million people in the U.S. visited sports websites each month in 2009. Fans used the internet to track all the major storylines in sports, from A-Rod's steroid admission, to Tiger's very public downfall, and everything in between:
"The data reveal that we are living in an incredible time for sports consumption," said Stephen Master, VP of Nielsen Sports. "Leagues have used websites, social networks, and smartphones to create a virtual sports bar for fan dialogue to help the buzz surrounding major televised sporting events."
Download The Changing Face of Sports Media, which includes a breakdown of TV, online, advertising statistics for each major sport.