You might think that the power of live sports in Australia comes through NRL and AFL with Fox Sports using those sports as a tentpole for their entire service but the real star of Australian sports broadcasting right now is the sister streaming service Kayo Sports and their numbers are growing.
Looking at the Q4 results for News Corp, the parent company for Foxtel/Fox Sports and Streamotion which runs the Kayo, Bings and Flash streaming there are some fascinating numbers.
Kayo subscriber numbers are up over 200,000 to June 2022 with 1,312,000 subscribers this year compared to 1,079,000 last year.
For perspective, Foxtel has 1,481,000 residential subscribers, so there’s likely more people watching Fox Sports content on Kayo now than there are on the traditional broadcast platform.
The success of Kayo can most likely be demonstrated through their Formula One viewing stats.
What we see is a clear mix of viewers, from the traditional to those keen for sport but not in the “live” moment.
As you’d know, I’m a complete traditionalist – watching every session live – I’m getting up at stupid O’Clock and I’m soaking it up as it happens.
Then there’s those who will sleep through a race, but set aside a full hour or two to watch the race the next morning, lunch time or afternoon.
Taking it up a gear, there’s a bunch of people who have discovered Formula One, and just want to keep in touch with the sport which is where the Highlights, “Kayo Minis” or Bites of sporting content come in.
And it’s working – F1 viewing is up 51% year on year after the first 12 races – from 165 million minutes to 249 million.
Those Kayo Minis – up 109% year on year.
Silverstone was the most watched race this year so far, with 26.7 million minutes viewed, up 34% year on year.
And unlike anything that was available when I was a young fan and we had live broadcasts and a VHS recording at best, viewing of Formula One in 2022 more than DOUBLES the next day, from 9 million minutes on race night to 20 million the next day.
Of course those annoyingly placed races at 4am in the morning get the biggest bump the next day, with a five time increase – Kayo report that the Saudi Arabia race had 2.3 million minutes live but a staggering 18.1 million next day!
It’s a fascinating story really, on-demand sports viewing is such a big part of the success of a platform like Kayo – they want to maintain their subscriber numbers month after month so it’s all about giving every single style of sports fan the content in the way they want.
Of course, there’s also great Podcast content – so if you’re an F1 Fan, make sure your checking out the EFTM F1 Podcast thanks to Kayo