Fans go online for sports news

A new study suggests that consumers go to the Internet for sports news and information, not TV sports shows or 24/7 sports networks.

The recently released research from Burst Media found that more than a third of men (36.1 percent) and slightly less women in the study (32.7 percent) said that the Web is the place they go for sports news, which is followed by local TV programming (23.7 percent), national TV networks (15.1 percent), local newspapers (6.7 percent), national newspapers (3.6 percent) and sports radio (2.9 percent) — for both men and women.

In addition, among the key age segments of 18-24 years and 25-34 years, the Internet far outweighs both local and national TV coverage as the primary source of sports news and information, according to a survey administered earlier this month to more than 2200 adults 18 years and older. Adults 55 years and older still turn to local TV news over the Internet.

Among all respondents, sports content is in demand regardless of which media is cited as their primary source.

Nearly one-half (49.2 percent) of respondents use the Internet to check sports scores, and 41.3 percent read sports-related news stories online. And nearly as many women as men use the Internet to check sports scores (47.3 percent vs. 50.5 percent), read sports stories (39 percent vs. 42.8 percent) and visit professional team sports sites (25.2 percent vs. 26.2 percent).

Yet despite all of the hype over online video services, more than one-half (55 percent) of all respondents indicated that they have never watched live streaming game coverage on the Internet.

Also of note for Web content providers, the survey found that while the Internet is the most popular media source for sports content, it is not perceived as the best source. Overall, national TV sports networks are viewed by respondents as the best place to get sports information and news. However, men believe national TV sports networks and Internet sports content sites deliver equivalent sports content (30.1 percent and 28.7 percent, respectively).