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Survey: 39% of Live Sports Viewers Have Interest in Virtual Watch Parties

San Jose, CA, June 25, 2020 –(– While personal screens, time-shifted viewing and online video algorithms support solitary TV, the data reveals an opening for TV providers to nurture a new source of value — shared TV viewing experiences.

For all video and TV viewers surveyed, 26% were interested in the ability to watch TV simultaneously with others, while distanced. That number rises to 39% amongst those with Live Sports as a primary TV viewing habit. The survey found strong feature-level interest in the ability to engage in a two-screen user experience; and the ability to have private, secure group sharing experiences.

The explosion of personal screens, online video, time-shifted viewing and self-reinforcing personalization algorithms has led to a decline in appointment TV and a rise in solitary viewing.

Pre-COVID, this decline of socially oriented TV left an opening for TV providers to build a new and differentiated source of value – the shared TV viewing experience. In response, a small group of innovators dedicated themselves to building better shared TV. That included, acquired by Minerva last Fall.

During COVID-19, we have also seen others react to this social deficit that can be helped with innovative TV. Hulu is a recent example, having launched a Watch Party test feature on June 11, 2020.

As we look to the return of sports in an at-home, socially distanced economy, Minerva decided to sponsor Ring Digital’s June 2020 edition of the #FutureOfTV Survey in order to gather more data about what consumers want in their social and shared TV viewing experiences.

The report, titled “Watch Together: Is the Future of TV Solitary or Social?” is based on a consumer survey of 1,101 video & TV viewers. Detailed methodology is included with the report.

Selected highlights from the survey include:
— 39% Top 2 Box interest in social viewing amongst Live Sports viewers
— 26% Baseline Top 2 Box interest in social viewing amongst all viewers
— Feature-level demand for social viewing was further indicated by these data points:
– 39% Want high quality audio & video. We interpret that as “they want it to work.”
– 30% Want private, secure group sharing features versus 15% that selected public social media sharing
– 28% Want two-screen experiences, with the ability to view TV and chat on their mobile device
— Also, among users with interest in live sports, 44% selected the ability to virtually “Cheer” as a feature of greatest interest; Chatting with gifs, emojis and polls was next with 33%; and Sports Betting / Fantasy Sports Contests ranked third at 28%.

The full, free report also contains additional insights and commentary on what consumers want in a best-in-class TV user experience. It is available for free as an eBook download, here:
“Our mission is to power the best video services for consumers to discover and enjoy the best content, either on their own or together with the people they love. As sporting events return, the survey results suggest our new Watch Together service has largely hit the mark,” says Fabrizio Capobianco, Chief Innovation Officer at Minerva Networks. “These survey results strengthen our commitment to enabling a new TV service that addresses the needs of a wide variety of consumers and viewing habits.”

In addition to downloading the report, you can learn more about how social viewing technologies can open new TV service possibilities by attending a live webinar, titled “Watch Together While Apart: Sports Fandom TV, COVID-style,” scheduled for Thursday July 23, 2020 at 11:00 am PST.

Contact Information:
Matt Cuson, VP Marketing, Minerva
[email protected]

Brian Ring, Author, Ring Digital
(310) 713-4417

About Minerva Networks
Minerva is the leading provider of service management solutions for the delivery of advanced pay television services. Over 300 operators worldwide have deployed Minerva’s software platforms to offer next-generation entertainment services to their subscribers. With Minerva, operators are able to quickly transform their Pay TV services to provide a unique user journey anywhere and on any device. For more information, please visit

About Ring Digital
Ring Digital is a revenue growth agency that uses consumer surveys to understand viewing behaviors, inform client product strategies and execute go-to-market thought leadership for vendors serving TV providers, networks, studios and broadcasters around the world.

Contact Information:
Minerva Networks
Matt Cuson
(408) 567-9400
Contact via Email

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