Tech The audience for live sports on TV is getting old, and that's troubling for advertisers

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Many major sports are seeing the average age of their viewers creep past 50.

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Live sports are often seen as the last bastion of a reliable mass audience for advertisers. But that story is getting old.

A new report on the state of sports media in the U.S. from the ad buying giant Magna Global shows that while live sports consumption remains strong, its audience keeps aging.

Among the highlights:

  • Younger consumers are getting sports information like scores and quick hits on mobile devices, and are thus watching less live TV
  • For example, the average age of viewers watching the NCAA basketball tournament passed 50 last year
  • The NBA and soccer have managed to keep their audiences relatively young, thanks to their multicultural appeal

While there are still plenty of advertisers looking to reach middle-aged audiences, those that have typically turned to TV sports to reach younger consumer may have to start looking elsewhere.

Check out the trend toward older sports audiences in the chart below:

The audience for live sports is aging play

The audience for live sports is aging

(MAGNA’s US Sports Report)