Sochi Winter Olympics to break digital viewing record

New York, Feb 5: In a first, the Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia are set to break all records of digital viewership to become the ‘fully mobile’ Olympics.

According to researchers, Sochi Olympics, scheduled Feb 7-23, are expected to generate a dramatic rise in web and mobile viewing as more viewers rely on phones and tablets to stream live events, access sports news and highlights, participate in social media and view less-popular ‘niche’ sports.

“Digital use of Olympic content both broadened and individualised viewers’ traditional television experience and, therefore, would become an increasing trend for Olympics viewing and continue to impact the audience’s mega sporting event experiences,” explained Tang Tang, an assistant professor of communication at University of Akron in Ohio, US.

But this does not mean viewers would abandon the traditional TV-viewing experience for digital media, added Tang.

The researchers found that those who viewed the 2012 London Summer Olympics on multiple platforms reported spending significantly more time watching television coverage than those whose experience was limited to the television screen.

“Digital media does not diminish interest in traditional television – it enhances it,” added Tang.

She explains that the Olympics are less of a sports experience and more of a social event and that television is better suited for group viewing than digital media.

IANS