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Survey reveals disconnect among sports fans over connected TVs, second screens

Use of smartphones and social networking has gone mainstream among sports fans, but their adoption of connected TV and second-screen viewing remains low, according to a new report form Sporting News Media.

The key findings are part of the 2013 edition of the annual “U.S. Sports Media Consumption Report,” produced by Kantar Media and TV Sports Markets. The report examines trends surrounding the devices, platforms and types of content fans engage with as the media landscape evolves.

A survey of 1000 U.S. adults 18 years old and older conducted in February uncovered that more than a third of fans access sports content from their smartphones. Of those, 36 percent do so at least once per day.

Similarly, social media usage is popular among sports fans. Twenty-five percent use social networks to follow sports. Among these fans, 77 percent follow sports on Facebook, 47 percent follow on YouTube and 33 percent do so on Twitter.

Connected TVs and second-screen viewing fared far worse. The research found just 7 percent of fans say they use connected TVs to watch sports today, and 19 percent said they expect connected TVs will have the biggest impact on how they consume sports in two years. Only 4 percent of fans said they believe second-screen alternatives will have the biggest impact on how they consume sports in the next two years.

Traditional television continues to be the dominant player among devices used to consume sports video with nearly all sports fans saying they use TV to watch sports. Forty-four percent watch their sports on HDTVs, the survey found.

According to the survey, online consumption (apparently not via connected TVs) is the second most popular way of consuming sports, surpassing print.

One in three U.S. sports fans watch highlights of games on their PCs and mobile devices. The most popular types of content to consume online are live streams and highlights followed by interviews and news.