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People watching soccer

TV’s still the top device for following the World Cup, number two could surprise you

When it comes to following the FIFA World Cup, it stands to reason that the number one device around the globe would be television. After all, the 2010 World Cup had an estimated TV audience of around 3.2-billion. That’s only expected to grow larger this year and few other forms of technology have the reach or appeal of TV when it comes to sporting events. What’s interesting though is that you’re probably carrying the second most popular device for following the tournament in your pocket right now.

Stuart Thomas: Senior Reporter
Stuart Thomas joined the Burn Media team in 2011 while finishing off an MA in South African Literature. Eager to prove his geek credentials, he allowed himself... More

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According to new research from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), conducted by On Device Research around half of smartphone owners around the globe plan on following FIFA’s showcase tournament on their smartphones.

World Cup smartphones

While that’s still some way behind TV viewership, which sits at around 63%, it’s a fair distance ahead of laptops and desktop computers, which occupy third place at around 32%. It’s also interesting to note that far from being the second screens we imagined they would be, tablets are relegated way down the table below smart TVs.

The popularity of smartphones for keeping up to date with the tournament is however a little less surprising when you consider how people intend using them.

Smartphone use  World Cup

That the majority of people intend to use their smartphones to get real-time scores makes complete sentence. Perhaps less expected is that more people say they’ll use their smartphones to watch games while they’re at work or away from TVs than for sharing updates about the tournament with their friends and followers.

According to digital marketing research house eMarketer, there are lessons in this research for advertisers, but the only one we’d like to impart here (and which eMarketer curiously ignores) is: don’t get in the way of the football!

Image: Moazzam Brohi via Flickr.