Why sports streaming is the next big thing for CTV

By Todd Rose, CMO

LG Ad Solutions

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May 21, 2024 | 5 min read

Based on their report, Stadium to Screen: Streaming Live Sports in 2024, LG Ads Solutions look at how to engage highly attentive sports fans through targeted and interactive advertisements during the sports-packed summer of 2024.

Sports fans worldwide are bracing themselves for a truly unique summer of sport in 2024. This year has already delighted sports viewers with the Super Bowl, African Cup of Nations, Six Nations, and March Madness. Alongside the usual slate of action from Wimbledon, the Premier League, Formula One, NBA and MLB playoffs, and the Tour de France, the extra spectacle of the UEFA Euro 2024 and the Olympic Games will have audiences on the edge of their seats.

These prestigious events have long been key moments for brands to cut through to highly engaged audiences across the globe. The scale they can unlock is second-to-none – this year’s Super Bowl became the most watched TV program in history with 123.4 million viewers tuning in.

The popularity of live sports is continuing to increase even as the viewing landscape is shifting. For example, Peacock has gained the rights for a number of additional NFL games after the success of their wildcard game earlier this year, while Amazon has the rights to a number of Premier League games until the 2028-29 season.

This influx of sports streaming options opens up a new set of possibilities for advertisers to reach sports fans.

The current state of sports streaming

When it comes to watching sports events, linear still holds pole position. But streaming is gaining ground.

LG Ad Solutions recent report – Stadium to Screen: Streaming Live Sports in 2024 – highlights that in the US, 74% of CTV users are comfortable streaming live sports, with 72% of UK viewers doing the same. This trend is indicative of a seismic shift in how sports fans consume content, demonstrating a clear migration from traditional linear viewing to the digital realm. As streaming platforms become the go-to destination for live sports, advertisers are sure to follow suit, reallocating their dollars to reach these engaged audiences where they now reside.

With this many fans turning to streaming platforms for major events, it's time brands started drawing up game-winning streaming tactics.

Building fan engagement

Sports fans are highly engaged with not only the content they're watching, but also the ads that complement their viewing experience. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of UK and US sports fans state they are likely to pay attention to ads while watching live sports.

With this kind of engagement and now the expanded opportunity that CTV offers, advertisers have a plethora of ways to connect with sports fans. Advertisers need to think past the typical commercial break – with streaming, advertisers can own the Home Screen ahead of the game, create interactive commercials with QR codes or options to buy directly from their phone. In fact, sports fans in particular are also highly responsive to interactive ads. In the US, 67% of viewers would like to see ads that have live game scores and updates, this rises to 72% in the UK.

Lastly, streaming environments give advertisers insights on how to better align data and their advertisements. Through ACR (Automatic Content Recognition) data, advertisers can understand who is tuning in to what and using insights like geo-targeting or weather targeting to ensure their ads are highly relevant.

Ensuring relevance is one way to make sure brands can reach their target audience. With 79% of Brits and 74% of Americans actively wanting to see an increase in relevancy it's clear that highly targeted messaging and creative is clearly key to unlocking their attention.

Finding your fans

World-class sports stars combine flair with real results. Marketers need to do the same if they want to maximize their budgets during sporting events.

With sports fans in the UK and US on average paying for between 2-3 subscriptions to watch their favorite teams play, it's clear that marketers will need to employ a strategy that ensures they reach their targeted fans – no matter where they’re watching. For this, input agnostic measurement technologies, such as ACR, are a key tool in building a fuller picture of where and how fans are tuning in. With 80% of US viewers and 72% of UK viewers believing that they are more likely to remember ads that are relevant, ACR is vital for ensuring ads reach their intended audience.

Interactive ads allow marketers to tap into game day excitement via the homescreen, available through original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Ads with a count-down to the game embedded into the creative or embedded QR codes can extend the brand experience, bringing fans a step closer to getting what they need for the perfect watching experience – whether that be a game-pass, food, or even merchandise.

Forget Jude Bellingham, Victor Wembanyama, or Jannik Sinner – the next big thing in sports is streaming. With tentpole sporting events coming thick and fast in 2024, marketers must be ready to catch the attention of fans and stand out against the typical 30-second ad slot.

In this landscape, OEMs can play the clutch role – bringing marketers, sports publishers and fans together, and providing the framework for enhancing the fan experience. If brands are to access the granular targeting and interactive ads that streaming can provide, OEMs will be a vital member of their team.

Download LG Ad Solutions' full report, ‘Stadium to Screen: Streaming Live Sports in 2024’ now

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