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Report: Over 66% of Viewers Plan to Watch World Cup on Linear TV; Majority of Millennials Will Stream

David Satin

The ramp up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup has begun. As the final friendlies take place around the world in anticipation of the world’s most popular sporting event, many viewers are deciding which is the best way to watch every second of the tournament, which takes place from Nov. 20 through Dec. 18 in Qatar.

According to a survey from research company Amdocs, more than two-thirds of those viewers are choosing the linear route. Sixty-eight percent of those surveyed said that they plan to watch the World Cup on live TV.

That trend is broken in a big way by millennial viewers, however. Fifty-seven percent of survey participants from ages 26-41 said that they intended to stream World Cup matches instead of accessing them through linear means.

Part of the reason that planned streaming viewers may lag behind live TV viewers is that 40% of viewers across the globe aren’t confident that their mobile provider will be able to provide games reliably. People watching on phones and tablets make up a significant portion of any streaming audience, but they won’t turn to those devices if they don’t think that their network is reliable enough to support the stream.

The data from Amdocs also offered a tantalizing tidbit to media companies who may be considering adding sports packages. Forty-eight percent of respondents said that they would be willing to pay at least $5 more for a 5G mobile data package that would allow them to stream matches via mobile.

Streaming companies that are serious about offering robust sports packages featuring major leagues and events have to see these numbers as good news. They show not only that millennials prefer to digest major sports events via streaming, but also that many will pay more in order to do so.

All of Amdocs’ data is complicated somewhat by the fact that in the U.S., there is no single streaming home for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, at least not in English. Matches will air live on FOX, but there is no simultaneous live English-language stream planned, although Peacock will carry live matches in Spanish via Telemundo.

Of course, live TV streaming services that carry FOX and FS1 will broadcast the games, but for many cord-cutters, the $65 or more for one month — even after free trials — might not be worth the commitment. In that case, the best streaming option for U.S. viewers will be via FOX’s free streaming service Tubi. Tubi will launch a free ad-supported TV (FAST) channel dedicated to the World Cup, which will include on-demand replays of every match.

The channel will also offer content from past World Cups, including historic matches from men’s and women’s tournaments, featurettes on former championship teams and the stars that powered them, and much more.

Tubi

Tubi is a free video streaming service that includes on-demand access to 45,000+ movies and television shows - more than any other streaming service. Its ad breaks are shorter and less frequent than most free services. Fox executives have called their service “TV on steroids.”

Tubi’s programming includes films and television series from Fox Entertainment, MGM, Paramount Pictures, Lionsgate, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., NBCUniversal, Disney, and more.

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