Sports OTT Landscape in the UK

How Digital and Mobile Streaming Is Disrupting TV in 2019

About This Report
Broadcast channels both paid and free carry the lion’s share of live sports content in the UK, but a substantial and growing portion of the population is now streaming sports via digital platforms.

Executive Summary

Most sports fans in the UK still watch live sports on broadcast channels, largely via cable/satellite providers. But a significant proportion (almost a third) have streamed live sports content via digital platforms. And that figure is rising.

  • What is the cost of media rights for the English Premier League? The EPL sold its latest three-season rights packages—running from mid-2019—for a total in excess of £4.73 billion ($6.31 billion). This equates to £1.58 billion ($2.11 billion) per year and is bettered only by the domestic rights deals of the National Football League (NFL) and National Basketball Association (NBA) in the US, worth $4.50 billion and $2.60 billion per year, respectively.
  • Has the BBC offered digital or streaming services of live sports? The BBC doesn’t have the financial clout of Sky, BT and Amazon to compete in the sports setting, but governmental regulation asserts that certain “listed events” must be offered to the main free-to-air broadcasters on fair and reasonable terms. Events like the FIFA World Cup, the Olympics and the Six Nations rugby championship are therefore carried by the broadcaster. And these events have been increasingly catered to on the BBC’s digital platforms.
  • How many UK consumers are watching esports? Harris Interactive research found that 18% of UK internet users watched esports. Viewership was dominated by younger age groups, though 25- to 34-year-olds were most likely to tune in.

KEY STAT: While 71% of UK/US viewers use cable to view live sports, nearly 30% are now streaming or watching via mobile.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report surveys the sports streaming industries in the UK. We catalog streaming services, analyze market trends and data, and provide takeaways for marketers.

This is part of a collection of 11 reports. To access all the reports, read the global overview "Sports OTT Landscape 2019."

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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Market Background
  3. Esports
  1. Marketer Opportunities
  2. eMarketer Interviews
  3. Read Next
  1. Sources
  2. Media Gallery

Interviewed for This Report

Chris Bennett
EMEA Managing Director
Interviewed November 20, 2018
Mark Hudson
Head of Business Intelligence
Interviewed January 26, 2019
Charlie Johnson
Digital Element
Vice President, UK and Ireland
Interviewed November 22, 2018


Bill Fisher and Paul Verna


Alina Brentnall
Researcher, Europe
Paul Briggs
Senior Analyst
Matteo Ceurvels
Research Analyst
Rahul Chadha
Senior Analyst
Man-Chung Cheung
Research Analyst
Jasmine Enberg
Senior Analyst
Jeane Han
Senior Researcher
Jennifer Jhun
Research Director, International and Special Projects
Angela Kim
Senior Researcher
Lucy Koch
Junior Analyst
Sharon Tan
Karin von Abrams
Principal Analyst

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