The results of a recent survey by London-based trading and investment firm Saxo has found that 41% of British sports fans have cancelled a subscription to a sports channel in response to the cost-of-living crisis.
As Brits tighten their belts, spending on sports network subscriptions is on the decline and live attendance of sporting events falters.
The survey discovered that fans in the 16-24 age group were most likely to cancel, with a whopping 60% of respondents reporting that they had cancelled at least one subscription.
50% of fans in the 25-34 age bracket did the same.
What's more, some 46% of sports fans on the whole said that they have been dissuaded from regularly attending sporting events as they struggle to cope financially.
Saxo Senior Marketing and Engagement Manager, Harry Leyburn, responded to the results of the study:
“The results of this survey suggest that even live sports isn’t impervious to the cost of living crisis.”
“The obsessive enthusiasm of live sports fans has made it undoubtedly one of the undisputed financial successes of the 21st century and typically ‘recession-proof’. However, even the fervent passion of fans is starting to wane as these figures show, with fewer fans across the UK attending live sporting events because of the fall in ‘real’ incomes."
“Typically, when attendances drop, we would then expect to see people instead choosing to watch games. Yet fans are being forced to cut back on even watching sport on television as a result of the crisis gripping the UK.”
Not only are fans staying away from stadiums and arenas, they are even cutting costs when it comes to following live sports from home.
However, we would be foolish to expect that those same obsessed, passionate fans are simply not watching sports anymore. They are much more likely to be using illegal live streams to keep up with their favourite sports teams.
Following the recent sentencing of the latest illegal sports streaming gang to be caught by authorities, there is heavy debate in the UK regarding the cost of watching sports, in particular Premier League football.
The situation seems to be coming to a head, with more and more fans either unwilling or unable to keep up with the skyrocketing costs of the various subscriptions needed to follow their favourite sports. Illegal live streaming continues to thrive. Authorities are now warning the users of these streams, not only the gangs. It's a problem which is getting uglier by the minute.
This particular survey by Saxo questioned 1,000 people and asked them to discuss how often they attend live sporting events in person and how they consume such content from their homes.
This stark response from the public will surely serve as yet another reminder to all major stakeholders in elite sport that change is sorely needed.
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