Home TV nets top choice for watching sports content
Michelle Clancy | 11 July 2014
Despite the proliferation of devices, TV is still clearly the most popular medium for watching sports, with half of Americans watching sports at home on TV and just 17% watching sports outside the home.

This is according to a survey from content security vendor Irdeto, which found that in a similar pattern, with 53% of consumers in the UK mostly watching sports on TV at home and 4% mostly watching on TV in a pub or bar. However, multiscreen is growing, with 5% of consumers mostly watching sports on a laptop or desktop and 2% through a mobile device.

Once the World Cup was underway, the respondents were also polled regarding their attitudes towards watching the tournament. Of the Americans polled, three-quarters said they did not plan to watch the World Cup. Of those who did plan to watch, the majority (73%) planned to watch the games at home on TV. In the UK, TV is still the most popular medium for viewing the competition, with 54% of respondents planning to watch the matches on TV. However, 7% are watching highlights on-demand, 5% are using a DVR to record matches, 5% are streaming them online and 3% are watching through a mobile device.

"The popularity of sports consumption over IPTV and mobile devices is increasing," commented Richard Scott, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Irdeto. "We are seeing that many operators and broadcasters are focused on initiatives to drive consumer loyalty, particularly around the World Cup. This research shows that more than 50% of US and UK consumers are watching live sports in the home either on their TVs or on a smaller screen. Broadcasting sporting events in high quality represents a significant opportunity for broadcasters to engage existing customers and acquire new ones, while also protecting their rights to provide live game coverage."

Irdeto also looked at global viewers, and found that across the board TV remains king in the majority of the markets surveyed. However, in some more developing countries other ways of viewing content, such as on smartphones and tablets, are gaining momentum. The majority of respondents in Australia (51%), Indonesia (43%) and India (39%) indicated that they prefer watching TV over smartphones, tablets and laptops. However, in Singapore, the preferred way to view content is on a laptop (36%), and in India laptops are a close second choice (36%).

"The laptop and desktop have overtaken the TV as the most preferred device in some parts of Asia," added Jonsson. "This signals the onset of the multiscreen phenomenon in Asia Pacific. Countries like Singapore tend to be early adopters of technology, and the trend is also evident in Asian countries such as Indonesia and India. It is a reflection of how hungry for content the consumers are in this region, and their desire to own and consume content on multiple screens."

An ancillary finding also found that in the US, the most popular means of watching TV, movies and sports is live as they are broadcast on TV. A full 49% of respondents choose live TV over pre-recorded or Internet TV. Most Americans (59%) are happy to wait for new shows and content to become available before watching.