Young people are turning off sport on the box — something that will strike fear into television executives who hoped live matches would be immune from the diversions of Netflix and video games.
European broadcasters like Sky Plc and Telefonica SA pay billions for sports rights and rely on the games’ allure to attract people to their more expensive broadband and television bundles. Walt Disney Co., the owner of ESPN, and broadcasters including NBC also use sport to build audiences and sell advertising.
But there are signs it doesn’t hold the same spell over young people as their parents. Viewers between the ages of 18 and 24 were the least interested in sport as a genre, according to a survey of 31,000 people across 10 countries carried out by research firm Ampere Analysis.
The trend was most pronounced in the U.S. and U.K., the most advanced markets in terms of internet adoption and …