A lack of household interest in viewing sports content may make ESPN’s task more difficult as the network tries to increase its minimum penetration. Results from our online consumer survey conducted in March 2017 show that half of multichannel video subscribers would not switch providers in order to receive ESPN. Although there may be more avid sports fans in the household beside the survey respondent, this data suggests that subscribers may be willing to let ESPN slip into a higher tier package and the lower penetration rate that goes with it.
Among multichannel video subscribers surveyed, half selected that they probably (20%) or definitely (30%) would not switch providers if their current provider no longer offered ESPN. About 30% of those we surveyed would definitely/probably switch multichannel providers to keep ESPN while 21% of those we asked were undecided on the matter. The comparatively low number of respondents indicating they would switch could be because the survey was fielded just after the football season ended in March 2017. Consumers may change their tune in the fall when high value content like SEC football returns to ESPN.
Additional survey data also indicates that the frequency of viewing of live sports is a strong indicator of whether or not subscribers would switch providers in order to receive ESPN.
For more information about the terms of access to the raw data underlying this survey, please contact support.MI@spglobal.com.
Data presented in this article is from a U.S. Consumer Insights survey conducted in March 2017. The online survey included 2,556 U.S. internet adults matched by age and gender to the U.S. Census. The survey results have a margin of error of +/-1.9 ppts at the 95% confidence level. Generational segments are as follows: Gen Z/Millennials: 18-36, Gen X: 37-51, Boomers/Seniors: 52+.
Consumer Insights is a regular feature from Kagan, a research group within S&P Global Market Intelligence's TMT offering, providing exclusive research and commentary.