YouTube Sports Viewers Aren’t Watching The Traditional “Big Four” American Sports

It’s no surprise that society’s viewing habits are changing. A world that was once dominated by television broadcast is quickly shifting to online streaming for its entertainment needs. And with the ever-increasing popularity of live stream it’s not just movie studios that are being effected, but the broadcast sports industry as well.

Sportle, the first entertainment platform that allows fans to easily find and watch live sports streams, has released an initial round of data on the viewing habits of sports fans who use their service.

Here’s what they found:

Surprisingly, from the data collected, YouTube sports viewers aren’t watching the traditional “big four” American sports. Among YouTube viewers who accessed YouTube via Sportle, Soccer was the most viewed live sport. Soccer, of course, which has been a huge factor in fuboTV and go90’s streaming strategy, also tuned out to be the most viewed international content by far, with Manchester United #1 in total live match streams, followed by Liverpool FC and three other Premier League teams, making The (English)Premier League the most viewed international sports league via Sportle, followed by La Liga.

As for NFL football, four teams dominate online viewing: the Packers, Cowboys, Falcons and Patriots, with fans of those teams responsible for nearly 35% of the total, live online viewing via Sportle.

And since Sportle’s inception in early 2016, the most-viewed live game accessed via the website was game 6 of the NBA playoffs between the Thunder and Warriors on TNT Overtime. The large audience was in part a result of being available to stream without requiring cable authentication.

In the Sportle iOS App, however, the most-viewed live game was the epic Game 7 of the 2016 World Series between the Chicago Cubs vs Cleveland Indians.

Some other interesting take-aways are Sportle’s Top 5 Lists:

Top 5 sites with the most available live sporting events:

1. YouTube


3. Fox Sports

4. NBC Sports

5. Livestream

Top 5 Most Viewed networks:


2. Fox Sports


4. YouTube

5. CBS Sports

Top 5 Most streamed networks of authenticated content:


2. Fox Sports

3. NBC Sports

4. beIN Sports

5. TNT

Top 5 MVPDs amongst Sportle users:

1. Comcast

2. DirecTV

3. TWC

4. Dish

5. Verizon

The data collected is based on Sportle’s streaming estimate of approximately 5 million streams between March of 2016 through December 2016 and includes data collected from viewership of all nationally-delivered sporting events which were supported by Sportle. Approximately 3,000 live events per month are made accessible for visitors to the Sportle website and app.

Like what you read? Give Matt Lopez a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.