How do Gen Z engage with sports viewing? What are their watching habits (full games or highlights?), do they stream, or watch television, how are they different to other age groups?
Hello! Thank you for your question regarding how members of Generation Z view and engage with sports coverage. The short answer is that members of this generation watch and engage with sports on a variety of platforms, both on- and offline. You will see a deep dive of my findings below.
Generation Z watches and engages with their favorite sports through a variety of channels, including live coverage, social media, online video, and sports talk shows/reality TV. Largely they are consuming these various forms of media on their mobile phones, with 65 percent of Generation Z relying on their smart phones for sports coverage. In fact, cell phones are the most common device employed by Generation Z, followed by television, and then their laptops. Alternatively, Millennials rely primarily on their computers or laptops, while older generations turn to their television before any other device.
As referenced above, Generation Z watches sports and engages with various forms of sports content through a number of mediums, such as on television, in-person, online, and via cell phone applications. While live sports coverage is still the most popular medium for sports coverage, Generation Z also engages with sports videos on YouTube and Snapchat. Specifically, 64 percent watch sports videos on YouTube, while a further 45 percent watch these videos on Snapchat. In addition, this generation enjoys "alternative sports content" such as reality TV shows, documentaries, and talk shows.
Throughout these various mediums, Generation Z is the most likely generation to spend money for sports content, followed by Millennials. Specifically, "more than 90 percent of sports fans are willing to pay for sports programming, [while] those aged 15 to 36 (Generation Z and Millennial) say they will pay the most." This is largely because older generations have grown up with the ability to consume sports content for free, while Generation Z is used to paying for this, and almost every other form of entertainment.
When watching sports, Generation Z is more likely to follow and root for individual players, as opposed to teams. In addition, while they are likely to attend live games, they do so for the experience and to spend time with friends or family, as opposed to attending solely to watch the game live and in person.
Additionally, Generation Z wants to interact with sports in more ways than sharing and/or commenting on videos. This generation enjoys watching clips of games after they occur, and shows a preference for funny bloopers of sports games. Additionally, "what they really want is to take sports content and mash it up for dramatic or comic effect, mixing in their own audio and commentary."
Finally, Generation Z is not only accepting of, but interested in advertisements around and during sports programming. Specifically, "21 percent of those under 18 say that advertising around sports programming enhances their sports viewing experience. "
To summarize, Generation Z enjoys watching and engaging with sports content through a variety of mediums, including television, online, in-person, and through mobile applications such as Snapchat.
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