The generation gap was starker on the male side: 58 percent of male Gen Zers said they are sports fans compared to 75 percent of all adult men.
In addition, members of Gen Z were less likely to identify as fans of specific sports properties relative to the broader adult population in another corresponding poll. Of the 27 sports or competitions included in the survey, members of the general adult population were more likely than Gen Zers to identify as fans of 24 of them. The only sports wherein Gen Zers overindexed as fans relative to the general public were esports and the NBA, while the share of all adults that identified as fans of UFC was equal to that of Gen Z.
Gen Z’s relative disinterest in sports is reflected in its viewing habits: While 42 percent of all adults, and 50 percent of millennials, said they watch live sports at least once a week, only 1 in 4 individuals ages 13-23 said the same. In addition, Gen Zers were twice as likely as millennials to say they “never” watch live sports.
Zach Leonsis, senior vice president of strategic initiatives at franchise ownership group and media company Monumental Sports & Entertainment, said the keys to growing live viewership among young fans are accessibility and opportunities for engagement.
“Sports properties need to make sure that their games are digestible and available via streaming products,” Leonsis said. “They need to make their games engaging by fostering gamification, daily fantasy, free-to-play games and, ultimately, sports betting.”