Men aged between 21 and 35 are watching eSports as often as they watch basketball or hockey, according to a report from market intelligence bods NewZoo, who studied people’s viewing habits when it came to both physical sports and their electronic equivalent.
The report found that 22% of males between 21 and 35 watch eSports, and of that chunk, 76% claim that their viewing of eSports is eating into the time they used to use to watch more traditional sports.
Also in the report is news that 40% of all eSports fans don’t even play the games they’re watching, although doesn’t specify whether these viewers are mostly lapsed fans of the game or if they’ve never played, but either way it indicates a need for clarity in eSports design, as those watching your events may have zero familiarity initially.
The report also shows that more 21-35 year old men are watching eSports than they are Baseball or Ice Hockey, which, while admittedly being second string sports, still have an enduring popularity. This tails back off in the 36-50 age group, but is presumably a trend that’ll carry over as people watching eSports get older.
"If eSports would generate as much revenues per fan as the NBA, it would be a $2.5 billion business today," said Newzoo in the report. They previously predicted a million people around the world will be "aware" of eSports by the end of 2016. No information yet on how close we are to that figure, but as 2016 slowly comes to a close, we should hear more.