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UAE Has The Highest Proportion Of Consumers Across The Globe Who Engage With Sports – UAE Today Blog

New data from YouGov’s latest report- The Global Sports Media Landscape, reveals that just over two thirds of global consumers (67%) follow sports on a regular basis (in the last 30 days) via various media platforms.

Looking at the data by country, we see that the UAE has the highest proportion of ‘sport engagers’ (89% each), defined as those who engage with sports they regularly follow (in the last 30 days) across any traditional and digital media platforms or formats. 

UAE shared the top spot with Indonesia (89%). Other Asian markets reporting high level of sports engagement are India (85%), Hong Kong (83%) and China (79%). Comparatively, European countries and America register lower levels of engagement.  

Examining how consumers engage with the sports they regularly follow by country reveals that live TV is the preferred method in 12 out of the 18 markets surveyed. Live sports on TV dominates in the more traditional European markets along with North America (US, Mexico, and Canada), whilst social media occupies the pole position in all Asian countries.

In the UAE social media is the most popular way of consuming sports content (40%), more than watching live sports on a TV channel (36%) and watching live streamed video content online on YouTube, etc. (35%).

While social media and live streamed online video content are more popular medium among 25-34 year-old adults, TV is dominant among 45+ audience.

An examination of their streaming behaviour shows that UAE consumers are almost equally split- with 44% saying they have subscribed to a sports platform or service to gain access to exclusive sports content, and 46% who haven’t.

Sports-led subscriptions enhance the level of sports consumption among subscribers. In fact, more than three-quarters of urban Indians (77%) report that their sports content subscription has encouraged them to consume more sports content with around a fifth (18%) maintaining their current levels of sports viewership.  

In the area of digital sports streaming and content, Soccer is the most popular sport – with a large majority of UAE consumers accessing exclusive content through their subscription (58%). The next most popular sport among subscribers is Cricket (32%) and Basketball (29%).

When it comes to the most popular platform for streaming sports content, YouTube TV is the top choice among a fifth (20%) of global consumers, rising to 38% among UAE consumers. Netflix is the next most popular streaming platform (31%), followed by Facebook Watch (21%).

Download the full report here.


The insights in this report are drawn from a recent global YouGov Survey to understand the challenges and opportunities for sport in an evolving media landscape, how the consumption of sports content is changing, and what sports organizations should do to adapt to changing media behavior. Our research covers 18 global markets of more than 19,000 respondents. The survey results were further bolstered by connecting respondent level YouGov Research data to YouGov’s proprietary syndicated data solution for the sports industry specifically. Our survey was fielded from the 11th November to 30th November 2022. Data for UAE is based on a national sample of 1130 respondents. Data is adjusted with mild weighting using interlocking demographic characteristics.

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