Sports OTT Landscape in the US

How Digital and Mobile Streaming Is Disrupting TV in 2019

About This Report
In the US, disruption in the sports broadcasting industry is coming from league-based subscription services; standalone services run by broadcasters and independent startups; linear OTT providers; and social and digital media companies.

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."

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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Market Background
  3. Sports Gambling
  1. Esports
  2. Opportunities for Marketers
  3. eMarketer Interviews
  1. Read Next
  2. Sources
  3. Media Gallery

Interviewed for This Report

David Gandler
Co-Founder and CEO
Interviewed November 6, 2018
Francois Lee
Executive Vice President and Investment Director
Interviewed November 14, 2018
Dan Lovinger
NBC Sports Group
Executive Vice President, Advertising Sales
Interviewed November 16, 2018
Geoff Reiss
Yahoo Sports
Vice President and General Manager
Interviewed November 9, 2018


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
Bill Fisher
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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