Young people switch off TV sport as competition for attention intensifies –

Young people are switching off from TV sport as part of a drop in average audiences of nearly a tenth in six years, analysts have be claimed.

The findings come amid concerns at BT and Sky about a sharp decline in football audience this season.

Research by Ampere Analysis found that 18 to 24-year-olds, the younger end of the so-called “millennial” age group, were significantly less likely to consider themselves sports fans than the overall population.

Ampere said it appeared to be a recent phenomenon, citing comparable research a decade ago that found 18 to 24-year-olds were over-represented among sports fans.

According to the latest findings, young people are now 17pc less likely to identify sport as their favourite form of programming than the general population.

Richard Broughton of Ampere said the data should “ring alarm bells” for pay-TV operators, such as BT and Sky, that rely on sport as the main draw for subscribers.

He suggested that the rise of online streaming services such as Netflix and YouTube, as well as social media, was providing stronger competition for young people’s attention. Ampere’s research showed they were much more likely to cite films or box-sets as their favourite entertainment on screen.


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