Survey: Sports fans increasingly prefer highlights over live games

By the numbers: Among U.S. sports fans ages 18–34, 58% of MLB fans, 54% of NBA fans and 48% of NFL fans say they prefer watching highlights to full games, according to a survey by Variety.

Of note: The number of NFL fans ages 35–49 who prefer highlights to games drops substantially to 20%, but that isn’t the case for the NBA and MLB, with roughly half of fans in that age group saying so.

Why it matters: The sports ecosystem is built on live sports rights. If fans aren’t regularly tuning into games, it could threaten the entire model.

This change in viewership behavior has been well-documented among millennial and Gen Z fans, many of whom have cut the cord and rely largely on social media for their sports coverage.