Sports OTT Landscape in the US

Sports OTT Landscape in the US

How Digital and Mobile Streaming Is Disrupting TV in 2019

Executive Summary

In the US, pay TV still dominates the sports landscape, but audiences are increasingly shifting to digital video platforms. Additionally, companies like Amazon, Facebook and Twitter are bidding for highly prized US streaming rights for games.

  • Where are fans watching sports video? Disruption is coming from several areas: subscription-based streaming services from the top leagues, standalone services run by broadcasters and independent startups, linear over-the-top (OTT) services that deliver live TV content over the internet, and social and digital media companies that have enough capital to buy coveted streaming rights. While mobile is a big factor in the shift from traditional pay TV to OTT, a highly developed US connected TV market is serving fans who like to watch their favorite teams’ games on the biggest available screen.
  • What sports can US consumers access via streaming? Each of the four top sports leagues offers a direct-to-consumer (D2C) streaming plan, ranging from standalone services such as MLB.TV to NFL’s Sunday Ticket, which is tethered to DirecTV satellite customers and, as its name implies, limited to Sunday games. The pricing varies from league to league and depends on whether users pay monthly or seasonally. But, generally, users who buy entire seasons will shell out at least $250 per year. In addition to the “big four,” US consumers have access to a large selection of sports content on digital platforms. In fact, many “niche” sports are available only digitally.
  • How big is the US esports market? Activate estimated there were just as many viewers of esports as NBA viewers in 2018, with 63 million each. Only the NFL and MLB had larger audiences, at 139 million and 83 million, respectively.

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

KEY STAT: An October 2018 study by PwC noted that media rights, the largest component of the sports economy in North America, will reach $23.80 billion in 2022, up from $20.94 billion in 2019.

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


Paul Verna


Alina Brentnall
Paul Briggs
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Matteo Ceurvels
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Rahul Chadha
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Man-Chung Cheung
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Jasmine Enberg
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Bill Fisher
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Jeane Han
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Jennifer Jhun
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Angela Kim
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Lucy Koch
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Sharon Tan
Karin von Abrams
Principal Analyst