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Young people seem to lose interest in sports, why?

Despite the fact that the sport has billions of fans in the world, the new generations are beginning to lose their interest in these.

Football stadium

The generations are changing and their consumption of entertainment too. Photo: Pixabay

LatinAmerican Post | Juan Bacallado

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Leer en español: Los jóvenes parecen perder el interés en el deporte ¿qué sucede?

The generations are changing and their consumption of entertainment as well, those born between 1994 and 2010 are known as Generation Z or "Centennials" and are characterized by growing along with the internet as well as its massive use, and that is where the problem appears for sports industry. According to El Confidencial, before sports leagues had to compete with each other to attract a larger audience, but now more powerful competitors are added : digital media and streaming, such as Netflix, Twitch, YouTube and hundreds of public access platforms .

According to an investigation by Morning Consult, 53% of Centennials are followers of the sport, which indicates a drop taking into account that in Millennials (born between 1981-1993) this number reaches 69% , this survey was conducted in the United States. During 2020, a country where sports entertainment stands out in various disciplines where they are benchmarks in the world such as the NBA, MLB and the NFL. As for the male public, this trend is even more marked, since 58% of Centennials men are interested in sport, while, in adults, this number reaches 75%. Out of 27 sports included in the survey, Generation Z only outperformed Millennials in competitions such as esports and the NBA, in the UFC they were equal .

Television: the problem?

The main reason for this difference in interests is mainly due to the type of media that sports use to broadcast, since, only 41% of Centennials use traditional television to follow their sports and only 25% watch live sports online at least once a week. Meanwhile, 50% of Millennials do watch some live sport once a week.

The accessibility to sports is being a barrier for Generation Z. The Washington Post reports that sports executives still do not give importance to this generation so they do not adapt to their way of consumption , Tim Ellis, marketing director of the NFL explained that "you have to make them fans when they are 18, or you will lose them forever" since some other executives are confident that the Centennials will have a greater interest in the sport when they reach 30 years of age.

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Sport is expensive

Unlike access to social networks such as Twitch, YouTube, among others, which can be accessed for free -you only need to pay for an internet service- or streaming platforms such as Netflix (where the payment plan is between $7.99 to $13.99 per month), the sport is much more expensive. According to El Confidencial, a Spaniard must pay 57 euros a month to have access to all European soccer, the Pay per View of a single UFC event has an extra price of $ 59.99 on ESPN + . But it is not only the transmission, the sports shirts also have a high cost, a Real Madrid shirt is priced at $ 60 in the official Adidas store , while a Golden State shirt with the name of Stephen Curry can be worth $ 110 in the official Nike store .

The pandemic has also been a factor affecting interest in sport. With the stadiums closed as well as the bars, the fans have had a detachment and the young people do not develop any interest. However, when the stadiums were open it was not a great advantage either, since for example the cheapest ticket for the Santiago Bernabéu oscillated around 70 euros, while in a Spanish second division match you had to pay up to 15 euros.