It’s been a year of significant sporting events generating solid Internet TV audiences, and Thursday’s Wales vs. England soccer match, part of the Euro 2016 action, is a good example of how important live and sports are to Internet TV.
BBC Online said more than 2.3 million viewers – nearly 3X the number who watched the London Olympic Game’s 2012 tennis finals – watched on the BBC Sport website and iPlayer as England came away on top.
“We are delighted that the BBC’s digital offering again allowed so many people to share in this huge game," said Director of BBC Sport Barbara Slater. "The BBC has pioneered live digital event coverage from London 2012 Olympics to Glastonbury, and our record breaking figures highlight its increasing importance to audiences."
The 2 p.m. match came in the middle of the workday for most in the U.K., meaning a big chunk of viewers likely watched at work.
The BBC didn’t break out the device mix that the game was streamed on, but Ooyala’s most recent Global Video Index (which is downloadable free here) showed that while PCs remain the go-to device for watching video during the heart of the workday, an increasing number of viewers are streaming on smartphones and tablets between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., narrowing the gap in just the past 12 months.
That’s likely a two-part phenomenon, reflecting an increasing trend toward using tablets as primary work stations and the increasing, nearly ubiquitous penetration of smartphones among all segments of the population.
Also on Thursday, meanwhile, some 11.8 million unique U.K. browsers visited BBC Sport online, topping the previous high of 10.2 million, set on the final day of the Premier League season.
Play continues through July 10.
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