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Watching other people play video games has emerged as one of the internet era’s more unlikely pastimes. But a study of adult internet users in the UK found a growing awareness of esports—and a high intent to watch esports coverage again among those who had already done so.
The YouGov poll, conducted in August and September, found that more than one-third (35%) of respondents were aware of esports.
Moreover, 20% of those who were aware had watched esports—a figure YouGov said was equal to about 7% of the UK population—while 8% who hadn’t watched said they were interested in doing so.
Among people who had viewed esports, the entertainment value was compelling enough that 57% said they’d do so again.
However, esports viewing in the UK still lags behind several other markets, such as China, where 45% of adults told YouGov they watch such programming, as well as the US (12%) and Germany (11%).
Within Europe, however, some researchers have found the UK ahead of Germany for other esports measures. According to PayPal, the UK ranked fourth for esports revenue share in Europe in 2016, at 5.6%, while Germany didn’t even crack the top five.
YouGov found millennials ages 18 to 24 were a bright spot for esports in the UK. The firm reported that 64% of respondents from that group were aware of esports, and 34% who were aware had watched them.
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