Lockdown has affected us all in many different ways, however for sports lovers one of the worst outcomes was the removal of televised sporting events. As a nation we love sport, whether that's watching it live, on TV or even via the highlights afterwards and for many, sport is a love like no other.

It's common knowledge that sport can cause major rifts in relationships, especially when one partner's interest isn't reciprocated by the other. With the Premier League and other live sports now back on our screens, we decided to survey more than 2,000 of you to discover what impact this 'sports detox' has had on your relationships.

The results were quite shocking, revealing that a staggering third (37%) of relationships have improved in lockdown due to the absence of televised sport. Unfortunately, when we asked you about its return, more than half (51%) of you had already noted a deterioration in your relationship, since the first post-lockdown Premier League football match aired on the 17th June.

Delving into why relationships have improved during the sporting absence, four in five (81%) stated they've been spending more quality time together, a fifth (20%) said their partner's general mood has improved and a one in ten (10%) shared that the communication between them and their partner has bettered. Furthermore, a third (31%) of you noted an improvement in your sex life and one in eight (12%) declared you've found a new mutual hobby during this period with no sport.

In addition to asking about the impact of sports on their relationships, we also asked participants how much sport they watched on average prior to the pandemic. From this, we can reveal that the average sports fan watches six hours of live sport a week, equating to a total of over 18,000 hours or 750 days over an average lifetime!*

The top five favourite sports watched on TV


Looking into the specific sports watched, football tops the list as the favourite sport watched on TV with four in five (81%) of you stating you watch football weekly.

The top five favourite sports watched on TV are:

  1. Football (81%)
  2. Rugby (49%)
  3. Cricket (32%)
  4. Boxing (21%)
  5. Motor Racing (18%)

Cas Paton, founder and CEO of OnBuy, said,

"For avid sports fans, their love for their chosen sport can often be on par with the love for their partner, and it's certainly not uncommon for one person's love of sport to be a bone of contention in a relationship.

"Lockdown has impacted our lifestyles in so many ways and for the first time in most of our lives we have experienced a world where no new or live sporting events are on our TVs. As such, fans have had to adapt their lifestyle, filling the time they would have dedicated to watching their favourite team play with something else. So it's no surprise to hear that lots of relationships have improved as a result of this. However, as sport hits our screens once again, it will be interesting to see how this develops further, there's certainly a lot of people out there who aren't hopeful this improvement will last!"

* This is taking into account that the average person now lives 79 years and a sports fan will watch sport for 59 of those years.