Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

16.8 million Brits plan to stream world’s biggest football tournament 

Over three quarters (78%) of Brits are interested in following, listening, or watching the FIFA World Cup this year, according to new research by global advertising technology company, The Trade Desk. 

While the majority of those interested in the 2022 global football tournament (94%) will watch the event via their TV, the number of people intending to follow the games on streaming services is set to increase by seven per cent compared to the last event in 2018. This equates to a total of 16.8 million Brits planning to watch via streaming, while the number planning to watch on linear TV is set to decrease by four per cent. This shift in viewing behaviours is driven by younger generations, with 29 per cent of 18–34-year-olds choosing to watch through on-demand services.

While TV proves to be the most popular device, 66 per cent of British sports fans report that they watch sporting events and competitions across more than one screen. Fans in the survey state they often or sometimes use other devices such as phones to check scores for other events online (72%) or look up information on other teams and players (65%).

Almost half (46%) of consumers say they don’t follow sports regularly but are interested in the global football event, presenting a valuable opportunity for advertisers to connect with hard-to-reach audiences in a powerful way. With wider research suggesting three in five (60%) football fans perceive ads around the global football event as more memorable than everyday advertising, advertisers are gearing up to make the right impact. 

To ensure they’re reaching consumers, two-thirds (67%) of advertisers surveyed by The Trade Desk and Savanta currently advertise on live sports across Connected TV and linear TV to reach a broad and engaged audience. 

The digital advertising strategy overhaul isn’t limited to large sporting events as more than two-thirds of advertisers in the survey expect an increase in Connected TV live sports inventory towards programmatic over the next 12 months. This is supported by the fact that almost half (48%) of these advertisers see live sports as integral to their media strategy on Connected TV. 

Phil Duffield, UK Vice President at The Trade Desk commented: “This year’s global football tournament marks a key milestone in digital advertising. With sports fans increasingly choosing to watch on Connected TV, advertisers can leverage the data and insights associated with streaming and digital platforms to deliver a relevant and memorable omnichannel experience. The brands that do so will be the winners, regardless of what happens on the pitch, as they look to build meaningful customer relationships and establish long-term consumer loyalty.” 

Figures are based on fieldwork conducted by YouGov on behalf of The Trade Desk. Fieldwork was undertaken between June and July 2022, amongst 13,000 adults (aged 18+) across the U.S., Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific, including 1053 in the UK. 


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