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Study highlights an uptick in live events anxieties due to COVID-19

More than 15 per cent of theatregoers said they may never attend a Broadway show again due to anxieties surrounding COVID-19, according to a new study.

In a survey of around 1,000 people in the US in mid-May by sports and events analytics firm Performance Research, in partnership with Full Circle Research Co, more than half of respondents said they would return to theatres in New York in “a few months,” while 33 per cent said they would return immediately or within weeks.

In comparison with a similar Performance Research study conducted in mid-March, 52 per cent of respondents now said they will attend fewer large public events, up from 44 per cent in March. In addition, 60 per cent of respondents said the idea of attending a big public event “will scare me for a long time,” up from 47 per cent in March.

“Just as the country begins to open up there has been a swing toward increasing caution, with a majority of Americans clearly saying ‘not yet’ when it comes to attending large public events,” said Jed Pearsall, president of Performance Research, Variety reports.

Looking at the cinema industry, 70 per cent of people said they would prefer to watch a new movie at home as a digital rental rather than in a theatre if both were available today.

Just less than 40 per cent of respondents said they plan to attend cinemas less often, up from 28 per cent in March, and 10 per cent claim they may never go again, up from six per cent.

In terms of what people deemed as acceptable pricing points for online viewings of different types of productions, 47 per cent of people said they would pay $10 for a first-run movie, while 20 per cent said they would pay $20.

For a live concert by a major artist, 21 per cent of respondents said they would only watch if it was free, while another 21 per cent claim they would pay $10.

In terms of sports, 67 per cent of respondents say they would watch the sports they follow on TV even when there are no crowds in attendance, and 59 per cent say that even without fans in the stands, they want to see sports competitions come back as soon as possible.