Honors Projects

The Accessibility and Affordability of Televised Sport and Effects on Viewership

Pershelle Rohrer


This research examined how accessibility and affordability impact viewership for consumers of live sports content. More specifically, this study analyzed the viewing preferences of sport management majors at a Midwestern mid-major university. Accessibility and affordability of sports programming has previously been studied, particularly relating to cable and satellite television. However, this study also examined this developing relationship in the emerging age of sports on live streaming services. The following research question guided this study: How do accessibility and affordability of televised sports impact viewership for viewers? Three sub-questions were asked to create a better understanding of the primary research question. These questions included: 1. What methods do sport management majors use to access televised sport; 2. How much money do sport management majors spend for television-related viewing costs; and 3. What are viewers’ main motivations for selecting their methods of viewership? Eighty-nine individuals completed a survey, and results were analyzed used qualitative methods. The results revealed that increased accessibility and affordability lead to higher levels of live sport viewership. Participants primarily used cable or satellite to access live sports content, while many did not pay for their primary viewing methods. Over-the-air and cable or satellite users used these platforms to access live regional sports, while individuals used over-the-top for broader content access. This study is limited to college sport management majors and provides a baseline for research on this topic. Future studies using other demographic groups will provide a more holistic picture of how individuals consume live sports content.