The World Cup – a game of two devices (at least)

How did you watch the World Cup? If it was a big evening game then it was probably on telly, but as Ofcom confirmed yesterday you were probably using another device at the time – most likely your mobile or laptop. If you were keeping up with a lunchtime or afternoon game, especially at work, then there’s also a good chance that you enjoyed the World Cup online or on your mobile.

As Ofcom pointed out, the way that we consume media is changing, we’re becoming a nation of multi-taskers and this is reflected by new research from the IAB and ESPN that showed this year’s World Cup might have been a game of two halves, but was also a tournament of multiple devices. Over half (55%) of the male sports fans (ESPN UK Fan Forum members) surveyed said that while watching games on TV they were using at least one other device – with laptops most popular at 37%, followed by mobiles on 30%.

Online and mobile adoption didn’t end with use of devices in conjunction with TV – with just under half of all respondents (46%) saying they watched more games online in 2010 than in 2006 and just over half (52%) saying they followed more games online in 2010 than in 2006. Not surprisingly, online viewing peaked during weekday lunchtime or afternoon games with up to 27% saying they watched games at these times on the internet.

But the best result of all for broadcasters and media owners comes when viewers considered their online and mobile experiences. Of those that experienced World Cup games online or via mobile 73% said that their experience was better then expected, with many citing reliability as a key positive.

So while TV is definitely still the most likely way that we’ll watch major events like the World Cup, there’s evidence from this research that in addition to online and mobile consumption increasing, satisfaction with these channels is also growing and this points to a bright future for watching key events online or via mobile.

The IAB and ESPN’s World Cup Research is free to download.

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    Believe me, if I could have watched everything on TV I would have. Did use the BBC’s 90 second text update online a fair bit at work as watching it online may not have been too popular but checking progress every now and again was ……………ok