Abelson Info data shows football and tennis suffered due to Covid-19 while exposure to darts and table tennis skyrocketed. The company has revealed sports fixture coverage suffered an 18% year-on-year (YoY) decrease for 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The London-based data and odds provider reported the total number of fixtures under its remit fell from 177,000 in 2019 to 145,000 in 2020, as the sports shutdown and subsequent squeezed calendar impacted competitions across the world.
The percentage drop-off in H1 20 amounted to 65% in total fixtures, indicating just how severe the sports shutdown was for the industry in March and April.
Football suffered a 33% fall in fixture coverage, with major European leagues either suspended or outright cancelled, while the summer’s UEFA European Championships was rescheduled for 2021.
Racket sports such as tennis and badminton also suffered dips, with coverage down 55% and 80%, respectively.
Abelson Info reaffirmed the rise of so-called niche sports during 2020, with the likes of darts and table tennis recording major hikes in fixture coverage.
Darts coverage rose 110%, mainly due to remote competitions with elite players competing from their homes, while table tennis coverage skyrocketed 425% year-on-year (YoY).
In fact, the surge of table tennis in 2020 meant that it became Abelson Info’s second-highest volume sport behind football.
The supplier’s top five volume sports did shift YoY, although football remained top the pile, followed by table tennis, basketball, ice hockey and tennis.
Following a difficult 2020, Abelson Info pointed towards an optimistic 2021. “From a betting volume perspective, assuming no further significant disruption, 2021 promises much.
“Staking on many sports will benefit from both the early year fixture overflow from the 2020 programme, and of course, rearranged major tournaments such as Euro 2020,” it concluded.