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Despite Time Difference, Majority of China's Internet Users Will Watch World Cup Live

Portal sites the top source for tournament news

Soccer is the No. 1 sport watched in China. In a May 2014 study by CTR Market Research, 42.9% of 15-to-54-year-old internet users in the country said they watched the sport. Meanwhile, 36.2% viewed basketball games, and around one-quarter of respondents watched ping-pong (27.1%) and badminton (26.1%). In addition, 23.8% of China’s internet users said they didn’t watch sports at all.

But with the huge time difference between Brazil and China—games will start at around midnight in China—will these soccer fans follow the 2014 FIFA World Cup during live games? Somewhat surprisingly, the majority of respondents planned to do so, with TV the most popular device for live viewing, cited by 38.8% of followers. Digital devices were far less popular for watching World Cup games live. One-quarter of internet users intended to view the live matches on their PCs, while mobile devices saw even lower responses: 11.2% of respondents said they would watch the tournament live on tablets, and only 9.8% had plans to do so on their mobile phones.

Though the majority of respondents had plans to watch the World Cup live, a large percentage were either not interested or preferred to get their beauty sleep—38.7%.

Whether or not they catch the games live, fans will likely turn to other sources to follow the tournament. Portal sites were the most popular channel internet users in China planned to use for World Cup news, cited by 42.5% of respondents. Sports sites came in a distant second (25.1%), and no other news source was mentioned by more than one-fifth of respondents.

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