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Growing Out of the Uncertainty: Sports Media’s Hybrid Future

In Growing Out of the Uncertainty, we use our unique insight from processing and analysing tens of billions of data points on sports fans to predict Covid-19’s long-term impact on sport, and provide a roadmap for sports properties to minimise the challenges and maximise the opportunities.

Sports Media’s Hybrid Future

As the world navigates a Covid-19 recession, high-cost, monthly payments to pay-TV broadcasters will be put under the microscope, increasing levels of cord-cutting and cord-shaving that have been a consumer trend over the last few years.

The consequences will be significant for the sports industry, as we believe it will see the amount spent on sports media rights, by pay-TV broadcasters, decrease after consistent overall growth for the last half a century.

According to our data analysis, pay-TV broadcasters accounted for 71.4% of a total $48.2bn spend on media rights ($34.4bn) in 2019. We believe this will be the apex of the pay-TV spending curve globally; 2019 the year that, collectively, pay-TV broadcasters1 as we know them reached the peak of their sports rights spending.

To protect media revenues, rights-owners will be forced to accelerate the development of a new ‘hybrid’ media model, where live and on-demand content is packaged for distribution across a wider number of owned and third-party media partners, reducing their reliance on pay-TV.

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Our 10-page feature explains how the hybrid media model will both satisfy consumer demands for the delivery of sports media content, and open new media revenue opportunities away from pay-TV.



  1. Broadcasters who primarily charge subscription fees for channels, and whose channels are available primarily through satellite, cable and telecoms services
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