According to Parks Associates, 10% of U.S. broadband households are watching esports. The research house defines esports as professionally or semi-professionally organized competitive video gaming events, including gaming titles such as "League of Legends," "Call of Duty" and "Street Fighter."
"Esports is a young, dynamic and fast-growing industry. While viewership of many traditional sports is waning, esports is well-positioned to capture the attention of a generation that grew up playing video games. Today, 62% of U.S. broadband households play video games at least one hour per week," said Hunter Sappington, Parks research analyst. "Esports is currently a niche market, but it has the ability to engage often hard-to-reach demographics."
The research firm says the esports audience is typically younger male gamers under 35 with a tendency to be on the cutting edge of technology and trends. Esports viewers spend more than twice as much money per month on non-pay TV video entertainment content than non-viewers, with a monthly average expenditure of $47.23 compared to $22.97.
"For distributors, including pay TV providers, OTT services and social media platforms, esports represents an opportunity to complement existing content and grow the viewing audience," Sappington said. "By participating in this market during its formative stage, pay TV providers, networks and other ecosystem players can influence the trajectory of the market and secure content rights to key events."
Related findings indicate:
- YouTube and Twitch.tv are the two most popular sites used to watch esports, with 61% of viewers saying that they watch on YouTube and 45% using Twitch. More than one-half of viewers use more than one platform to watch esports.
- 41% of esports viewers say that they would be likely or very likely to pay for a subscription to watch esports events and content, and 39% of esports viewers are likely or very likely to pay to watch esports on a per-game or per-event basis.
- Computers are the most popular device category used to watch esports - 67% of viewers use computers to watch esports, followed by 45% using TVs and 34% using a smartphone.