Sports Fans to Turn to Traditional TV to Watch Rio Olympics - eMarketer
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Sports Fans to Turn to Traditional TV to Watch Rio Olympics

Simultaneous TV, internet user penetration overall continues to grow

July 1, 2016 | Media Buying

Television is likely to remain the top live viewing channel in the US for the upcoming Summer Olympics. According to May 2016 research, the majority of US sports fans said they plan to be glued to the Rio Games via TV this August. But marketers shouldn’t count out other screens when it comes to simultaneous activities.

Ways in Which US Olympics Followers Will Follow the Olympics, May 2016 (% of respondents)

In late May 2016, Rubicon Project and Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates polled 1,105 US internet users who identified themselves as sports fans and followers of the Olympics.

The vast majority (84%) said they will watch the event live on television. Interestingly, when it came to other digital screens for live viewing, desktop (44%) and mobile (36%) came up short. Respondents preferred to just check the web for results and scores.

But viewers will probably be conducting second-screen activities while watching the Games, too. According to the research, 51% of respondents said they browse the internet on a second screen while watching sports in general, followed closely by email at 47%. Meanwhile, at least a third participated in other second-screen activities, like using social media, checking the news and texting with friends or family. Two in five even said they looked at sports scores while watching sports on TV.

Second-Screen Activities Conducted Simultaneously While Watching Sports According to US Olympics Followers, May 2016 (% of respondents)

Across the pond, UK internet users also plan on partaking in second-screen activities throughout the Games. In a separate study from RadiumOne, more than half (59%) of respondents said they plan to use a smartphone simultaneously, with tablet closely behind.

Overall–not including just live events–simultaneous viewing is a trend that’s just not going away. This year, roughly 85% of US internet users will use the internet, primarily smartphones (68%), while watching TV, according to eMarketer’s first forecast of simultaneous media usage.

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