Consumers were deeply engaged in sports 2016 with a series of dramatic moments—from the Chicago Cubs’ history-making exploits, to LeBron James bringing the NBA Championship home to Cleveland, and the many spectacular performances at the Olympic Games—to enjoy. Through these moments and more, Nielsen Sports has measured changes in how fans follow sports across multiple media platforms; critical information for rights holders, brands and other stakeholders working across the sports industry.
The Year in Sports Media report also looks ahead at some of the commercial trends shaping the future, such as the evolution of eSports.
Once considered niche, the world of competitive gaming is attracting a fan base that rivals some traditional sports. The eSports fan base grew by 76% in the past year. Traditional media companies and sports franchises are increasingly getting involved in eSports, and blue chip brands are investing in advertising and sponsorship. Currently, the U.S. eSports enthusiast skews male—83% and 78% are aged between 13 and 34.