Over the last 10 years, the media market has undergone a drastic transformation, which has positively affected sports on TV. There is an enormous amount of sports content to choose from and a shocking amount of hours viewed. In 2015, there were more than 127,000 hours of sports programming available on broadcast and cable TV and more than 31 billion hours spent viewing sports, which is up 160% and 41%, respectively, from 2005.
While the rise in time-shifted viewing largely altered viewership trends for most program genres, live viewing remains the standard for sports. According to TV data from fourth-quarter 2015, 95% of total sports program viewing happened live. In comparison, only 66% of “General Drama” viewers watched live, likely as a result of the increased number of outlets that are now available to catch up on a missed episode.