Enterprise IT/Software

5 ways people are watching the World Cup

Software Joe Curtis

16:09, June 20 2014


Tablets, smartphones and telly: how are you tuning in?

With the World Cup being played in Brazil this year, it's led to some odd kick off times for footie fans based in the UK.

Ofcom released some statistics at the start of June showing how people are watching and streaming the matches in 2014, and while TV viewing figures have declined, smartphone usage has doubled since South Africa's World Cup in 2010.

Here's how the British public is watching the football this summer - which device will you be using the most?


The number of people watching the World Cup on the telly has dropped from 32.3 million in the 1966 final England won to 15.8 million four years ago, according to data from the British Film Institute.

Andy Murray's Wimbledon victory was watched by an even smaller 12.3 million viewers last summer, so World Cup viewing this year on the telly isn't predicted to be high.


Four years ago, 30% of World Cup viewers watched on their smartphones, according to Ofcom. This year, 62% of adults are expected to keep up with the football on their smartphones.


Brazil is hosting the first World Cup at which there will be a significant use of tablet devices. Nearly a third of adults now use tablets to go online, after Apple launched the first iPad only just before 2010's tournament.

Ofcom says: "For games that kick-off at 5pm, smartphones and tablets will allow fans to keep an eye on the score, tweet and even watch live on the commute home. Football fans will also be able to take their tablets to bed to watch the 11pm kick-offs."


The last World Cup came two years before EE made 4G available to the general public. Now there's 6.5 million subscribers to the bandwidth, says Ofcom, while most other people use 3G. Back then, less than four in 10 mobile phone owners had 3G.

Ofcom adds: "Fans will also be able to connect to the 34,000 public free-to-access Wi-Fi hotspots across the UK to follow the action; more than double the number available since the World Cup in 2010."

Social media

Facebook and Twitter are even bigger now than four years ago, and Ofcom research suggests that 66% of adults in the UK have a social media profile, up 12% on 2010.

Fifa's also got an Instagram account for posting pictures of the World Cup on. People won't be able to watch any games that way, but it's more than likely it'll prove a major point of engagement with fans.


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