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Study: 34% of sports fans aged 18 to 24 prefer highlights over full games

Every other age group favours watching games in their entirety.

18 May 2023 Josh Sim

Getty Images

A third of engaged global sports fans aged 18 to 24 prefer watching clips or highlights of live games than watching matches in their entirety, according to data from YouGov’s Sports Whitepaper 2023.


  • 30 per cent of those aged 18 to 24 that were surveyed prefer watching games live
  • 25 per cent enjoy watching both sports games in their entirety and highlights
  • Every age group apart from the 18 to 24 category favour watching games in their entirety
  • Watching live on TV  is the most common method of sport consumption among UK fans at 38 per cent
  • Social media platforms (14 per cent) are the next most popular method of consuming sports, alongside reading sports content in print or online (14 per cent)
  • 22 per cent of Britons typically watch non-live sports content, with an even split of 11 per cent watching recorded/on-demand replays of games and video content from YouTube 


YouGov polled 19,568 adults from 18 countries for its whitepaper, with 2,082 hailing from the UK. The preference for non-live sports content, particularly from younger viewers, is highlighted by the appeal of Netflix’s Formula One docuseries ‘Drive to Survive’, which has seen more than 6.8 million viewers in the UK tune in, according to YouGov. The show also has an overall reach of 127 million views of any season. 

Coming next:

Sports properties are continuing to provide more user-friendly digital experiences for fans. One example is the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), which is aiming to target younger viewers through its digital transformation, with more short-form content, including quick highlights, being made available on its app and website.

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