Roku: Idle TV Sports Viewers Streaming More Movies, TV Shows

With professional (or any) sports on television an early victim of the coronavirus pandemic, new data from Roku suggests linear TV viewers suddenly denied access to sports of any kind have embraced streaming TV shows and movies more aggressively than other Roku subscribers.

March 2020 Week 1 vs. March 2020 Week 3

NBA and NHL linear TV viewers increased their non-sports streaming on Roku among the following genres, respectively:
News: 92.15%, 119.83%
Film & TV: 74.92%, 67.56%
Lifestyle: 66.74%, 51.92%
Live TV: 52.88%, 60.12%
Music: 42.99%, 63.53%
Reality: 41.11%, 30.29%
Kids: 33.48%, 31.29%
International: 23.42%, 34.25%
Comedy: 15.04%, 19.66%
Sports: -49.99%, -71.42%

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“Roku users who watched the NHL or NBA on linear TV in February increased streaming hours on the Roku platform faster than the average Roku user,” Dan Robbins VP, ad marketing & partner solutions, wrote in an April 2 blog.

Robbins said that while overall linear TV usage among sports viewers is flat, they are watching more film, lifestyle, music and news on the Roku platform.

Roku had more than 30 million active accounts in the most-recent fiscal period. It added 1.4 million net accounts in the quarter. Viewers streamed 500 million more hours in Q2 than in the previous-year period, or 9.4 billion hours total.

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Robbins said Roku users who watched the 2019 NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament (“March Madness”) on linear TV also streamed more video this March.

“Over the last three weeks, these fans shifted their prime time viewing to entertainment channels in the film & TV genre,” he wrote.

NBC: Blues-Bruins Score Most-Streamed Stanley Cup Final Game 1 Ever

NBC Sports said the May 27 National Hockey League Stanley Cup Final between the St. Louis Blues and Boston Bruins was the most-streamed Game 1 in history.

NBC said the match had an “average minute audience” of 115,500 viewers and 19.9 million live minutes, up 37% and 24%, respectively, compared to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final in 2018.

NBC said the Memorial Day evening telecast showcasing the Bruins’ come-from-behind 4-2 victory over the Blues in Boston averaged 5.38 million viewers across NBC, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app, up 2% vs. last year’s Game 1 (5.28 million) and up 9% vs. 2017 (4.92 million).

It was the most-watched Game 1 in four years and NBC Sports’ third-most watched Game 1 since it began broadcasting the Stanley Cup Final in 2006, according to Nielsen and Adobe Analytics.

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The match trails only two other Game 1 matches in NBC Sports’ 14-year history broadcasting the Stanley Cup Final (Bruins vs. Chicago Blackhawks, 6.31 million, 2013; Blackhawks vs. Tampa Bay Lightning, 5.58 million, 2015).

Regardless of the strong TV viewership, Game 2 of the Cup Final will only be streamed (no broadcast) on NBCSN, the standalone SVOD platform re-launched by NBC Universal in 2019.