UEFA says Euro 2012 a watershed for cyber-fans
The 2012 European football championships marked a watershed in the way fans enjoy enjoy sport online, with at least half of surfers opting for smartphones and tablet computers, UEFA's tech chief said Wednesday.
"Euro 2012, if you look at the technology, was kind of a cornerstone," said Daniel Marion, head of information and communications technology at the European football governing body.
"I think the world has changed in the way they consume football," he told a session on sport, business and technology at the Krynica Economic Forum, an annual gathering in southern Poland.
Marion underlined that television viewers -- whose numbers hit a record 272 million for the July 1 final between Spain and Italy -- still account for the overwhelming majority of fans who tune in around the globe.
But he said change was clear among those who prefer a less-traditional option.
"If we looked back three years ago, people would watch television for sure, but we always believed they would spend a lot of time interacting with us on their computer," he explained.
"Today, it's wrong, they spend more time on their mobile and they spend more time on their tablets. Fifty plus percent of the content is consumed through mobiles and tablets rather than computers, which is impressive."
UEFA holds the rights to the quadrennial football showcase, which is a major money-spinner, meaning it keeps a keen eye on ways to tap technology to draw in fans.
Poland and neighbouring Ukraine hosted the 16-nation tournament from June 8 to July 1.
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