Insights on Second Screening: The Channels Sports Brands Can’t Ignore

What digital media do sports fans actually use? Here are the channels that sports brands should include as a part of their strategy, according to studies.

How do our fans consume sports media?

It’s a question that sports organizations should ask on a regular basis. It’s the fans who choose the channels and platforms, and the organizations that understand fan behavior and adjust the best will win in fan engagement.

We asked this question from professionals working in sports organizations, and looked into existing research where fans’ consumption was studied.

We found a surprising result. Only 2% of sports industry professionals think TV is fans’ favorite channel. TV held the last place among digital channels.

In reality, TV is the clear number 1 channel to follow sports in the US and in the UK.


The full aggregated results from different studies

These professionals’ answers were a part of the State of Sports Fan Engagement 2023 survey conducted by iSportConnect in partnership with Choicely. Fans’ media consumption statistics are from Yougov.

How did sports business professionals get TV so wrong

How come television was so undervalued?

Maybe the sports business professionals overvalued other channels like social media because TV is a ‘traditional channel’?

Digital channels have received much more hype, and there might be a belief that TV isn’t very much used by younger generations anymore. But the fact is, TV is also popular among Gen Z.

The TV screen is even more popular than before, considering it’s not only used for linear TV but also for accessing OTT streaming services, among other things.

So what to do with this information?

  1. Make sure you’re on TV if you’re a bigger sport. 
  2. And for organizations of all sizes: build visibility on streaming services: their options range from free options to larger platforms.

The main goal is to provide ways to view your events in an easy way, and preferably on the TV screen.

Second screening: a great chance to strengthen engagement with fans

Another clear finding when looking at studies on fans’ media consumption is the huge importance of second screening.

While fans are watching the live event, 96% have used another device and for 74% it’s the phone – according to Global Web Insights.

When it comes to regular activities during a sports broadcast, 46% of Gen Z use apps.

According to Nielsen, mobile apps are the most popular means of second screening, making them an ideal platform to engage fans during and between events and broadcasts.



Fans’ second screening behavior. Source: Nielsen

So what to do with this information?

  1. Sports organizations should leverage second screening and provide information and entertainment, during and in between their events.
  2. Apps are the most popular platform for second screening. By building their own app, sports organizations can enhance the overall fan experience and increase the brand’s engagement with their fans.

Building a comprehensive mobile app allows sports organizations to aggregate content from various channels, including social media, ticketing, merchandise stores, and live streaming. 

Offer a premium '360 fan experience’, to your passionate and engaged fans who spend 6 times more on your brand than casual fans.

To maximize the engagement with mobile apps, organizations can incorporate features such as voting, ratings, surveys, gamification, and cutting-edge experiences powered by AI or AR solutions.

Additionally, seamless integration with ticket stores enables the fans that are already engaged to conveniently purchase tickets while watching a match.

A well-designed mobile app enhances fan loyalty, provides real-time updates, and fosters a strong connection between fans and sports organizations.

Learn more about using modern apps for fan engagement from our eBook:



In today's sports media landscape, the consumption of sports content spans multiple screens.

The reality is that television still is the primary channel for sports media consumption. The rise of second screening and the prevalence of smartphones have opened new avenues for fan engagement.

There, mobile apps have taken the center stage. When you recognize their importance and offer a comprehensive fan experience with apps, your organization can deepen fan connections, generate monetization opportunities, and embrace trends in both consumer behavior and technology.

Make full use of the power of multiple screens and you will build stronger relationships with your fans.

To make most out of sports apps second screening, download our eBook on Growing Digital Fan Engagement and Revenue with Apps.



To learn more about this subject, read our comprehensive post on digital fan engagement channels and how fans consume sports media.

Find the results of The State of Sports Fan Engagement 2023 study here.



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