Euro 2024: Live streaming boom set to continue apace

Euro 2024: Live streaming boom set to continue apace

The upcoming 2024 European Championship in Germany will set new benchmarks for the number of people who watch the event on live streaming platforms.

While traditional television broadcasts remain hugely popular in sports, many fans are increasingly using streaming services to consume live content.

According to Total Sports, that trend has been forecast to continue apace as digital viewing mediums become more immersive and sophisticated.

That point is supported by recent research conducted by LG Ad Solutions, which revealed that almost three-quarters of consumers in the United Kingdom are comfortable streaming live sports.

More than one third of respondents use three or more streaming apps to watch live sports, with Sky Sports (57 percent), BBC (55%) and Amazon Prime Video (53%) the most popular.

Intriguingly, while live streaming of sports is often associated with smaller digital devices, the study discovered that connected televisions (CTV) are the most popular with fans.

A whopping 92% of CTV viewers in the UK stream live sports on televisions and more than half of the respondents will be watching Euro 2024 via that medium.

“With digital viewing already on the agenda for half of UK UEFA fans, and increasingly popular among wider consumers, it’s clear that the UK CTV audience has grown to a critical mass, warranting further investment,” said Edward Wale, VP, International, LG Ad Solutions.

“On top of this, as competition increases amongst brands to get in front of these valuable, addressable streaming audiences, innovations in the CTV space like first-screen ads, or CTV Native formats, offer a way for brands to cut through the noise and stand out against the typical 30-second ad slot.”

Second screen usage playing a key role in the growth of streaming

While CTVs remain the primary platform for watching live sports, second screens have become an increasingly important part of the streaming landscape.

The integration of second screen usage has transformed the way fans across the entire spectrum of sports interact with television and digital content.

Around 70% of adults use a second device while watching TV, with smartphones (51%) and laptops (44%) the most popular second screen options.

Seeking more information about the primary content (81%) is the primary reason why people use a second screen alongside their main viewing platform.

Communicating with friends (78%) and using social media (76%) are other popular second screen activities, highlighting how sports viewing has become a more ‘connected’ activity.

Fans aged 18-24 are most likely to use a second screen, although older demographics are becoming increasingly switched on to this way of watching sports.

This shift in habits has forced brands to rethink their marketing strategies to ensure they do not miss opportunities to connect with consumers.

Content synchronisation, social media integration and targeted advertising are among the elements they must consider to stay ahead of the game.

Interactive campaigns across devices also play a key role in helping brands capitalise on the way fans watch live sports in the 21st century.

Euro 2024 streaming will drive online betting revenues

Live streaming of the 2024 European Championships will also have a significant impact on global betting turnover during the prestigious tournament.

Bookmakers are braced for record betting levels on Euro 2024, with a significant proportion of the revenue expected to be generated by in-play markets.

Some analysts have forecast that more than 40 percent of betting activity will be ‘live bets’, while others believe the figure will be even higher.

Smartphone betting has been tipped to account for around half of the wagers placed, further highlighting how second screens come into play in live sports.

European punters will generate most of the turnover, although emerging markets such as the Middle East will likely see a significant increase in wagers.

The Saudi Pro League (SPL) is set to be well represented at Euro 2024, with numerous players from the competition due to play for their national teams this summer.

With restrictions on gambling in the region slowly being eased, the tech-savvy population there will be eager to bet on their favourite players and teams at the tournament.

Live streaming and betting will undoubtedly play a massive role at the next edition of the Euros in 2028 which will be staged in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.

The region is one of the biggest markets for football on the planet, while many of the world’s leading betting companies are headquartered there.

While the 2024 tournament will unquestionably push live streaming and betting to another level, the numbers will likely fly off the scale when Euro 2028 is staged.