Viewing esports is becoming a popular replacement for viewing sports on television. Research by newzoo revealed that 76 percent of esports enthusiasts felt that esports viewing was taking away from hours they used to spend viewing sports.
This trend towards preference for esports is particularly prevalent for Millennials. Fifteen percent of all Millennials watched esports, more than any other age group. Viewing esports is definitely a more popular pastime among younger individuals, while viewing sports is more popular among older generations. For example, 56 percent of American football viewers are over the age of 35, whereas only 27 percent of esports viewers are over this age. When considering only Millennial males, 22 percent watch esports—still the highest amongst all other age groups.
Some overlap does exist between those who watch sports and those who watch esports. For instance, of the 80 million frequent basketball viewers, 9.6 million also enjoy esports. Of the 110 million frequent football viewers, 8.7 million are esports enthusiasts. And among the 43 million who are baseball viewers, 6.6 million are fans of esports. Of all the sports, there is the least amount of overlap for ice hockey—only 3.5 million individuals are fans of both the sport and esports.