Olympics 2012 internet streaming
Olympics streamed to PC & mobile - not Smart TVs

07 Aug 2012 | Rasmus Larsen |

BBC has released figures for Olympics internet streaming activity and an interesting pattern is revealed. Viewers stream the Olympic events to their PCs, smartphones and tablets – but not their Smart TVs.

Smart TV fails as a TV screen

Once upon a time TVs were the preferred device for watching TV but people today increasingly use supplemental devices such as smartphones and tablets. The Olympics 2012 in London is one of the biggest experiments so far in terms of internet streaming, and the response has been overwhelming.

Smart TVs are not the preferred device for TV streaming
Smart TVs are not the preferred device for watching TV

More than 18 million unique visitors have accessed BBC’s Olympics internet streaming service via a PC, smartphone, tablet and Smart TV. The PC (desktop and laptop) accounts for more than 50% of internet video consumption, and smartphones have been responsible for 33%. In 8% of the cases, viewers streamed the Olympics 2012 events to tablets. Only 3% of the users have chosen to use their Smart TV – a device specifically designed for watching TV - to stream the Olympics over the internet.

OL 2012 streaming
Graph showing how many people accessed BBC’s Olympics website and TV boxes’ internet connection

But why? One reason could be that 17 million people have used BBC’s Red Button streaming via their TV boxes. And linear TV channels are still very popular, obviously. However, it is still remarkable that Smart TVs that are designed to utilize internet video streaming are not used for the purpose. In contrast to linear TV channels viewers can tune into every single Olympics event on-demand from their Smart TV instead of only selected few via TV channels.

BBC’s linear TV channels, BBC1 and BBC3, still dominate, though. More than 45.5 million viewers have seen at least 15 minutes of Olympics coverage in the first 6 days. This is a considerably higher number than that of internet streaming but it is still remarkable how fast internet streaming has gained a foothold during the Olympics.

See more statistics at BBC’s website.

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