Social media engagement of sport content up during lockdown

“our passion and thirst for sports content remains strong”

Video views of sports content on social platforms is up during the sport lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the final week of March, when no live sports events were played, there were more views of sports-related video content on social platforms than a week prior when the AFL Premiership and the NRL where both being played.

According to Nielsen’s Social Content Ratings, engagement of sports-related videos across social media exceeded 12 million views in the first week without live sporting content (March 26-April 1), which is over 1.2 million more than the prior week (March 19-March 25).

While the total amount of owned video content published by leagues, teams and athletes was down (-18%), views per video increased by 35%.

Football Australia’s stream of a replay of the Socceroos victory over Uruguay in the 2006 World Cup Qualifier on Facebook, saw the Socceroos jump to the top of Nielsen’s Social Content Ratings amongst more than 150 teams.

For the weekly period (March 26-April 1), the Socceroos managed to retain an overall ranking of third off the back of that day, wedged between AFL club leaders.

Nielsen’s Managing Director of Media and Sports, Monique Perry ​said:​ “​ COVID-19 might have affected sports events worldwide, but our passion and thirst for sports content remains strong among Australians. Despite no on-field action, the increase of video views of sport content on social platforms is clear proof we are still avid sports fans”.

In the final week of March, the AFL still had over 2.1 million total interactions on social media despite no matches being played, with 76% of their engagement coming on Instagram.

Cricket Australia edged out the NRL in second spot, while the A-League and Supercars rounded out the top five.

Athletes accounted for 21% of content and 23% of engagement in the final week of March, up from 16% and 19% respectively the week prior.

Brisbane Broncos back Jordan Kahu turned to Facebook on March 31 to remind his followers to “Stay Connected” while in lockdown, was the most viewed video of the week posted by Athletes.

The NRL star teamed up with rugby league and rugby union players from both sides of the Tasman to pass a virtual “Kiwi head nod” to one another from their respective lounge rooms during isolation.

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