'Sport' sports the top slot among Asian audiences for OOH viewing

MUMBAI: Sport is the top choice of viewers regardless of where they're watching television across several Asian markets, states the latest findings of the out-of-home (OOH) viewing research from the first Asian OOH survey.

The survey undertaken by Synovate and commissioned by ESPN Star Sports was conducted to gauge OOH viewing in Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok and was expanded to include the cities of Shanghai and Beijing.



The first phase of the results revealed that 88 per cent of all those surveyed watch out-of-home, with a whopping 9 out of 10 watching out of home in cities such as Bangkok, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Sport occupied a market share of 87 per cent of the OOH choice of programming.

"Our OOH findings reflect studies in the US as well as existing research that sport is an appointment viewing priority not only in but out of the home as well. Research shows a sizeable, captured and passionate audience that cannot be ignored by advertisers, marketers and media planners in their media buying decisions," elucidates ESPN Star Sports Managing Director Rik Dovey.

Continued Dovey, "After this round of research, it is clear that OOH viewing is prevalent across Asia and sport is what they are watching. What's significant is that this viewing phenomenon is as big in China as well. Ongoing research in collaboration with our distribution partners in China as well as surveys like this demonstrate that our programming is desirable and watched."

The findings also suggest that over 60 per cent of viewers are missed out by traditional in-home meter systems across the six-city study, with the figure climbing to 80 per cent in Bangkok.

The diversity of sport viewed out-of-home emerged as another interesting finding from the survey. 96 per cent of respondents who watched sport claimed football was their sport of choice led by the English Premier League (84 per cent)., The UEFA Champions League and the FA Cup also showed healthy growth in Singapore and Hong Kong. However, other sport popular with OOH viewing includes basketball, tennis and motoracing, all of which are showing strong upward growth.

A large number of viewers plan their OOH viewing experience, with 73 per cent visiting a commercial establishment such as a pub or a restaurant and 41 per cent joining friends in order to enjoy a game better. Most watched in a group of at least 2 friends - with the numbers increasing with bigger match-ups. In established markets, the average group size tended to be larger.

"People watch sports from a wide variety of locations out of home. Restaurants, pubs and bars featured high on the list of commercial premises, whilst viewing at a friend's home was the most popular non-commercial location. Around three quarters of out of home viewers are glued to the screen once a month or more frequently, a clear indication of how important the audience is to broadcasters and especially sports channels," notes Synovate Media Director Steve Garton.

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