CHESTERFIELD, Mo.—The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team began their 2019 FIFA’s Women’s World Cup title defense with a record-setting 13-0 win over Thailand on Tuesday, and according to a recent study from Amdocs, many soccer fans watched the opening match via a social media streaming channel.
With the Women’s World Cup going on from now until July 7, Amdocs conducted a survey of 1,000 U.S. viewers on how they plan to watch the games following record-breaking viewing numbers for traditional and online/mobile viewing from the 2015 tournament. The report is titled “Stream On: Young Viewers at the Forefront of Women’s World Cup’s Digital Audience.”
While live cable/paid television remains the most popular method for watching the World Cup games (26%), streaming is the next pick at 13%. This is even more true among viewers in the 18-24 age range, with 22% saying they plan to watch via a streaming service. This correlates with the finding that younger viewers (18-24 and 25-34 ages ranges) are more open to new sport viewing experiences—78% of 18-24-year-olds and 63% of 25-34-year-olds have said they have live streamed a sporting event.
An example of a new sport viewing experience is watching via a social media channel. With 56% of respondents saying they would watch a game via a mobile device of tablet, 23% said that they would pick a social media channel as a primary streaming channel. Again, the number rises with the younger demographic, with 30% of 18-24-year-olds watching through social media. In addition, social media is a way to discuss and share moments of the game while they are going on, with 31% of total users choosing to do so.
The younger generation is also more interested in new developments with sports viewing. Things like 5G improving streaming experiences has the interest of nearly all respondents, but more than half for those 18-24. VR/AR (27%) and 360-degree live camera views (31%) are also elements that younger respondents said they would consider paying more for with their sports packages.
“Consumers’ sports viewing preferences have shifted dramatically over the past decade as new channels enter the fold and demand in immediate gratification and convenience spikes,” Amdocs’ report reads. “As media consumption habits shift, we’re seeing the effects ripple across the landscape, forcing service providers to rethink how they’re engaging and attracting their target audiences, as well as fostering loyalty amongst repeat customers, especially when it comes to younger consumers.”