Fans Root, Root, Root on Different Technology

Sports fans turn increasingly to mobile devices and social media to keep up on scores and their favorite teams’ news, a survey says. 

According to Sporting News Media’s “2014 Know the Fan Report,” the percentage of sports fans using mobile devices to check sports news has doubled since the first report, in 2011. The percentage of fans following sports on social media has also more than doubled, according to the report. 

Nearly half of fans claim to use an Internet-connected device at the same time as watching sports on TV, says the annual survey of U.S. sports media consumption.

Most often, second-screen fans like to catch up on other games being played via live text commentary and scores (44%). Fans watching sports on TV also use mobile devices to access non-sports related content (38%), communicate with friends via a second screen device about the sports event on TV (21%), watch clips and highlights of other games being played (20%), and post comments to social networking platforms about the game or event they’re watching (14%).

Among other findings:

  • Social networking fans are primarily younger, with 65% age 18 to 34.
  • Fans typically use an average of two social networking platforms to follow sports. While Facebook (70%), YouTube (40%) and Twitter (24%) remain the most popular networks overall, fans use them less compared with last year and instead opt for newer platforms such as Google+ (16%), Instagram (10%), Pinterest (8%) and Vine (6%).
  • Though mobile consumption of sports content has doubled since 2011, growing to 42% of fans, a computer or laptop remains the primary way to access online sports content for about two-thirds of people (65%). More than a third access content on these devices at least once a day (38%).
  • Smartphones are more widely used (34%) than tablets (22%) for the second year running, with smartphone usage still growing (up 10 percentage points since 2013) and tablet usage remaining relatively flat (up 3 percentage points).
  • Among fans who watch online, live streaming remains the most popular content accessed (38%), followed by videos of game/event highlights (31%) and videos of sports news (27%).
  • More than half of fans who watch online videos of game or event highlights (51%) and player/manager/coach interviews (56%) do so via a mobile device.
  • Sports news continues to be the most popular content read online (57%), followed by statistics and information (49%). This year has seen a greater demand for live text commentary of games—up 10 percentage points, to 35%.