Cable – from TV shows to streaming movies to online surfing – is a great go-to entertainment resource for bored out-of-school kids or others looking for indoor options during the blazing days of summer. But in recent years, online gaming has seen a steady surge in popularity in U.S. households. Online gaming traffic is predicted to increase eight-fold between 2015-2020, when gaming will make up 5 percent of consumer internet traffic, according to NCTA-The Internet and Television Association.
Of course, no matter how popular online gaming becomes, it can’t succeed without cable’s technological innovations that have led to faster internet speeds and improved latency. We’ve come a long way from the cartridges inserted into the early video game consoles 20 years ago!
Just who’s playing? An Entertainment Software Association survey found that 65 percent of American households are home to someone who plays video games regularly. In those households, the average gamer tends to be 35 years old.
They survey also found that gaming isn’t necessarily an individual activity – 67 percent of parents say they play video games with their children at least once a week.
The gaming community is expected to continue to grow with the rise of esports, or organized, multi-player professional competitive video gaming, which has become popular TV viewing in recent years – the global esports market was about $696 million in 2016 and could exceed $1 billion by 2019.
Example of this popularity: In late 2016, an esports competition, the “League of Legends” World Finals, drew 43 million viewers during the series finale – 12 million more people than watched the 2016 NBA Finals.
Whether you play online games or just watch them, true growth in gaming will depend on technology innovators such as the cable industry, which continues to expand on and deliver media and entertainment experiences for its customers.