The sports industry continues to adapt to the new habits fans have developed over the last two years, with the pace of change accelerating substantially since the start of the pandemic in 2020. This is evidenced by the increasingly flexible and dynamic approaches to competition formats, fan engagement, and content distribution by the world’s biggest sports properties.

TV remains a dominant player, producing large cumulative audiences and significant broadcast time. However, the TV landscape is changing with the growth of OTT, whether that’s from traditional major broadcaster-owned platforms or disruptors to the market. The use of social media for sports content continues to skyrocket and the emergence of TikTok shows the endless capacity for sports to innovatively engage with fans.

In this report, we examine 20 of the world’s largest sports properties and the quadrennial events—Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games and UEFA European Championship—to understand how these major rights holders reached their global fanbases in 2021.