Mobile Viewing Biggest Driver of Online Sports, Olympics Viewing
As the Olympics wind down this weekend, one of the big questions for broadcasters will be what impact the Games will have had on multiplatform viewing habits. With 3,500 hours online and a record-setting number of streams viewed, there’s every reason to believe the Olympics may expand multiplatform viewing of sports.
Will it carry over? Time will tell, but consumers seem eager to watch sports in new ways, thanks to mobile devices.
The content delivery network Level 3 Communications commissioned a study by Redshift Research that found that 58 percent of sports viewers in the U.K. had planned to watch the Games online (at home or at work via a home computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone or mobile), compared to 49 percent who watched sports online prior to the Olympics.
What was the tipping point? The big difference is mobile viewing. The study found that mobile phones, smartphones and tablets are the driving forces behind the interest in watching sports online — 46 percent of sports viewers in the 18 to 24 age range said those devices have transformed their sports viewing. Overall, about 16 percent of respondents cited mobile phones as having the biggest impact on their sports viewing, while 14 percent said tablets had.
In related Olympics news, many Web publishers have been working with other sports programmers during the Olympics to serve up Olympics coverage. Given the rights issues surrounding official video, the sports video ad network SEASON has packaged together video coverage from reporters and hosts in London so that sites such as NY Daily News, Newsday, Chicago Tribune, Denver Post and others can carry Olympics-centric video.