Submitted by Mark Cheney and Chris McGinnis | October 9, 2020

In a world free of global pandemics and shelter-in-place orders, September wouldn’t typically be a month considered a peak time to enjoy your favorite sports. However, unprecedented times call for unprecedented viewing.

For the first and possibly only time in the history of sports on television, sports are breaking their traditional viewing schedules and overlapping with each other in ways that we have never seen before. During the weekend of September 11th through the 13th, for example, 13 major sports had televised coverage, compared to just five last year. Even with the kickoff of the NFL, new additions to the traditional September sports schedule added nearly 25% to the total time spent with sports over the course of this weekend.

Source: Comcast Viewership Data. Viewership of sports programs from September 11th – September 13th. Minimum 5-minute viewing qualifier for each sport.

 

This abundance of choice drove the average viewer to watch around seven hours of sports over Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. What’s more, 24 markets viewed sports at a higher rate than the national average. There was significant lift for viewing in Florida markets, which may be a result of the combination of two sports events that do not typically overlap: College Football and the Stanley Cup Finals, both of which featured teams from Florida cities. Those 24 markets are listed below.

Market Sports Hours Viewed
Tallahassee 7:54
Atlanta 7:44
Jacksonville 7:43
Nashville 7:39
Little Rock 7:39
Augusta-Aiken 7:27
Charleston, SC 7:26
Ft. Wayne 7:25
Jackson, MS 7:23
Chicago 7:20
Denver 7:18
South Bend 7:17
West Palm Beach 7:14
Memphis 7:12
Richmond 7:12
Peoria 7:11
Lafayette, IN 7:08
Tupelo 7:06
Philadelphia 7:05
Washington, DC 7:05
Indianapolis 7:05
San Francisco-Oak-San Jose 7:03
Charlottesville 7:03

Source: Comcast Viewership Data. Average time spent with sports among sports viewers from September 11, 2020 – September 13, 2020. Minimum 5-minute viewing qualifier for each sport.

 

Thirty-eight percent of Comcast households tuned into at least one sport during that weekend, including the major sports (MLB, NBA, NHL, and NFL), as well as nine additional sports (soccer, tennis, golf, NASCAR, Formula 1, Indy Car, college football, cycling & WNBA). The diverse offering of sports during that weekend created the opportunity for households to view multiple sports, with 55% of sports-viewing households watching at least 3 different sports over the course of the weekend.

Source: Comcast Viewership Data. Viewership of sports programs from September 11, 2020 – September 13, 2020. Minimum 5-minute viewing qualifier for each sport.

 

With more sports returning to normal play, predominantly being watched on our TV screens versus in-person, now is a great opportunity to reach a variety of audiences while they’re at home watching their favorite athletes and teams. Contact us to learn more about sports advertising in 2020 and 2021.

 

 

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