Second-screen activities surge during Euro 2012

IAB UK, in collaboration with ESPN in the UK, has published the results of research into fans’ media consumption around the Euro 2012 football tournament, to shed light the role played by online, mobile and social alongside more traditional media.

The research – conducted with UK sports fans – found that while TV remains the preferred viewing device to watch the tournament, more than half (54 per cent) use another digital device whilst watching – so-called “second screen” activity. Furthermore, it found that social networking and mobile play a vital role in keeping viewers up to date and enhancing excitement around the tournament. The study also affirms the huge appeal of such tournaments for brands, with almost all respondents (98 per cent) having watched at least one Euro 2012 match.

Fans’ use of multiple devices to watch matches remains high with the use of tablets surging: one in ten who used an additional device whilst watching games on TV used a tablet. Smartphones took the top spot with 28 per cent 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 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 per cent 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 per cent) of those dual screening whilst watching Euro 2012 games use the extra device on Euro 2012-related activity. Of this group, 39 per cent visited social networking sites in relation to the matches, 17 per cent visited related websites, 16 per cent placed bets and 11 per cent 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 per cent checking emails and 13 per cent choosing to carry out their online banking chores whilst the games were on.

Jehan Shah, associate director, sales, ESPN EMEA, said: “The research shows that it is more important than ever for brands and media companies to develop multiple and varied digital sports offerings for fans. It also shows the rise of fans’ ‘second-screen’ activities while watching games on TV is not a zero sum game: it shows there is a growing, robust market to serve fans with companion, supplementary digital services.”

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