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Outside the Box

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ARE SPORTS slowly fading away? A recent study commissioned by SportsBusiness Journal and conducted by Magna Global showed that the TV audience for almost every major sport in the U.S. is aging faster than the general population, which went from a median age of 35 in 2000 to 37.7 in 2016 (see chart). At first glance this seems like a death knell for future broadcast rights contracts, but it represents more of a shift. The data follow the larger trend of cord cutting and online viewership among younger fans. Amazon, Facebook and Twitter all have streaming deals with prominent leagues, and Snapchat and Instagram are flooded with GIFs and highlight clips. None of those viewers are included in the analysis of TV ratings. Fans aren't necessarily getting older, just the ones who watch on TV.

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