Football fans are turning to second screens while watching their teams on TV, according to a new study by IAB UK on behalf of ESPN.
The research found that while TV remains the preferred viewing device to watch the tournament, more than half (54%) use another digital device whilst watching.
Social networking and mobile devices are also playing a key role in keeping fans up to date and building excitement around a tournament.
Close to all (98%) of respondents had watched at least one match during Euro 2012.
Fans’ use of multiple devices to watch matches remains high with the use of tablets increasing significantly: one in ten who used an additional device whilst watching games on TV used a tablet. Smartphones took the top spot with 28% of respondents favouring this as their second-screen device alongside the TV set. Whereas ESPN and IAB research around fans’ media consumption of the 2010 FIFA World Cup showed laptops to be fans’ favourite alternative to TV for watching matches, the latest research shows laptops have slid to second place, with 25% of respondents choosing this as their second screen device.
The research also shows that fans are using second screens heavily for sports: more than two-thirds (68%) of those dual screening whilst watching UEFA Euro 2012 games use the extra device on UEFA Euro 2012-related activity. Of this group, 39% visited social networking sites in relation to the matches, 17% visited related websites, 16% placed bets and 11% use related apps.
In addition to using a second screen for UEFA Euro 2012 activities, the research found that people are also continuing with their normal internet usage behaviour while watching matches on TV, with 61% checking emails and 13% choosing to carry out their online banking whilst the games were on.