Online & Social Media
Sports on the internet

A quarter of internet users in the region who watch online videos consider sports one of their favorite online genres (24%). This jumps to three in ten among Egyptians, Lebanese, and Tunisians, and is lowest in the UAE where only 15% cite watching online sports as a preference. Watching online sports is almost exclusively preferred by men (37% vs. 7% of women). Younger viewers (under 25) are also more likely to prefer sports online (27%) as well as those with less education (33% of those with a primary school education). 

A third of internet users indicate being likely to pay to stream or download sporting events (31%). This is similar to interest in paying to stream or download video games and films (35% and 33%, respectively), and greater than interest in paying for music and television streams or downloads (28% and 23%, respectively). Those in Saudi Arabia are the most likely to pay to stream or download sports, while those in Lebanon are the least likely (64% vs. 13%), a pattern that holds true for likelihood to pay to stream or download other types of online content. Likelihood to pay differs more by country than nationality, although Asian expats are generally less inclined to pay for online sports and other content. Men are much more likely to pay for sports content than women (40% vs. 18%) and those with more education are also more likely to pay to stream or download sporting events.

About one in seven internet users make comments about sports online (15%). This is consistent with online sharing about other topics such as films, television, and news. Those in Saudi Arabia and Tunisia are more likely to talk about sports online (27% and 24%, respectively), while very few Lebanese comment online about sports (5%), or any other topic. Fully half of Western expats in Saudi Arabia discuss sports online, but the same pattern is not seen in Qatar and UAE, where online sports comments are similarly low across nationalities.

Men more frequently discuss sports online (23% vs. 5% of women), as do those with no more than a primary school education (23%).