Emma, 29, loves her soccer just as much as binge-watching the new season of Game of Thrones or Married At First Sight.
But instead of trudging into AAMI Park to watch every Melbourne City home game, she now prefers to watch the action from the comfort of her own home.
There she can harness all her connected devices to maximise the enjoyment like never before: she never misses an angle, or a replay, and she can chat with her mates on WhatsApp at the same time.
Emma is also constantly checking her Twitter feed while the game is on so she can engage with all the gossip about the latest incident.
— Melbourne City Women (@MelbCityWFC) March 18, 2017
Later that same night her soccer fix continues as she streams the English Premier League on her laptop, or, if her flatmates are out, she’ll cast it on to the flat-screen via Apple TV.
Welcome to the revolutionary new world of the fastest growing sports sectors in Australia – the tech-savvy female fan, a.k.a the ‘tech-tator’.
A comprehensive study, the nbn™ Future of Sport report, conducted by The Gemba Group, reveals that tennis, cricket, rugby league and swimming are driving the surge, with new devices and increased connectivity via the nbn™ network paving the way for a fully customised and 360-degree immersion.
Long gone are the days where a broadcaster and rights holder dictate how and when we watch our favourite sports and sporting heroes.
Today’s female fans want control – they want more of the best moments, athletes and content; all at once and all at their fingertips, transforming their lounge rooms into their own private stadia, adds the nbn™ study.
“The lines between sport and entertainment have blurred beyond recognition,” confirms Gemba Group CEO Rob Mills.
“Sport fans now demand non-stop entertainment, full immersion and unfettered access to athletes, team and events. Digital technologies and increased connectivity is at the core of this revolution.
“More sports, deeper engagement and a heightened experience. All enabled by a rapidly developing digital eco-system.”
The sports women love most are adapting to suit too, with new formats, storylines, levels of access and celebrities, such as dual international Ellyse Perry, the star of The Carousel’s new Game Changers series.
Ellyse Perry On Why Women’s Sport Is The Hottest Ticket In Town on The Carousel’s Game Changers series
Almost half of the women surveyed say that their internet connection allows them to feel more connected to the sports they love (41 per cent) and more than a third (39 per cent) agree the at-home at-home experience is better than the at-event experience as it allows them to get closer to the action.
Finn Bradshaw, head of digital at Cricket Australia, believes the blurring of that line between entertainment and sport will only increase as more Australians sign on to the nbn™ network.
“Every second, eight people hit play on a video on one of our platforms across the globe,” says Finn.
“Connectivity is fuelling the digital sporting trend and allowing more people access to the sports they love, no matter where they are. It’s for this reason that we continue to develop our digital offering for cricket fans.”
Half of all women surveyed agree that there are more technologies that improve their at-home viewing experience than ever before; many are watching sport on two or more devices at the same time (22 per cent) and are choosing to tune in via their desktop computer (18 per cent), Smart TV (15 per cent) and tablet (11 per cent).
“Today we see a glimpse of the sporting future – multiple camera angles, virtual reality, access to any sport in the world, and eSports,” adds Rob Mills.
“All of these innovations will be significantly enhanced by a faster broadband network. And what’s even more exciting is the innovations that are yet to come.
“Innovations that will enhance all aspects of the viewership experience, and all made possible by increased digital connectivity.”