Most (72%) Global Citizens plan to Watch Olympics. [INSIGHT]

As the world waits anxiously for the start of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England, a new survey indicates that almost three quarters (72%) of residents of 24 countries plan to watch at least some part of the events this year. The poll by global research company Ipsos, on behalf of Reuters News, finds that viewers intend to watch on television sets (65%), the Internet (23%), their smartphones (6%) and tablets (4%). Global citizens appear especially interested in following track and field (20%) and soccer (20%) most closely, followed by swimming (16%), gymnastics (14%), volleyball (5%), tennis (5%), basketball (4%), boxing (3%) and cycling (2%).

The poll of 18,623 respondents in 24 countries finds that interest in the Games is high, with six in ten (62%) reporting they are interested in the Games (22% strongly, 40% somewhat) and only 37% reporting they are not (24% not very interested, 13% not at all interested). However, a sizeable minority (38%) indicate they are ‘worried that a terrorist attack will happen during the Olympic Games’ – 8% strongly agree, 29% somewhat agree.

The World Will Be Watching

Seven in ten (72%) global citizens “plan to watch any part of the 2012 Summer Olympics this year” – and at least half of the respondents in each country surveyed – while 13% have not decided yet and 15% do not plan to watch. Those from China (92%), South Korea (91%), India (90%), Mexico (86%) and Brazil (84%) are most likely to say they will watch the Olympics, while those from Belgium (50%), Germany (54%), France (54%), Great Britain (61%), Hungary (66%), Canada (66%) and Sweden (66%) are least likely.

How They Plan to Watch…

The Olympics will be watched on a variety of platforms. Most commonly, respondents indicate they will watch on television sets (65%) but they will also be using newer technologies to catch the Games: one quarter will do so on the Internet (23%) and one in ten on their mobile devices (6%) or tablets (4%). Those from Mexico (82%) are most likely to watch on a TV, followed by those from South Korea (80%), Brazil (79%) and India (75%), while those from Belgium (48%), Saudi Arabia (49%), Germany (50%) and France (52%) are least likely to.

Residents of China are most likely to being watching via less traditional technologies. In fact, nearly the entire respondent base (94%) from China indicated so: 67% will watch on the Internet, 16% on their mobile phones and 11% on a tablet. Similarly, majorities in India (89%) will watch via these platforms: 50% online, 24% on phones and 15% on tablets. The countries next in line follow at some distance: South Korea (58% online, mobile and tablet combined), Saudi Arabia (54%) and Turkey (43%). Less than one in five of those in Belgium (14%), Italy (14%), Germany (15%), Australia (16%) and France (16%) will watch on these less traditional platforms. Interestingly, one in twenty ‘strongly agree’ they will download a mobile app in order to watch the Games live (5%) and to get updates on the Games (5%). Another one in seven might do so; 15% ‘somewhat agree’ they will download one for watching while 16% ‘somewhat agree’ they will download one for getting updates.

What They Want to See: Global Focus on Track and Field, Soccer…

Global citizens interested in the Olympics report the sports they plan to follow most closely are track and field (20%) and soccer (20%), followed by swimming (16%), gymnastics (14%), volleyball (5%), tennis (5%), basketball (4%), boxing (3%) and cycling (2%).

Interest is Strong…

A majority of global citizens (62%) report they are interested in the Games (22% strongly, 40% somewhat) while only 37% reporting they are not (24% not very interested, 13% not at all interested). Interest appears highest in India (85%), China (82%), South Korea (78%) and Mexico (76%) and lowest in Italy (52%), Great Britain (50%), Germany (49%) and Belgium (45%). It is noteworthy that the Games are so popular around the world that more people intend to watch (72%) than actually express a definitive interest (62%).

…But Fear of Terrorism Lurks

One in three (38%) agree they are ‘worried that a terrorist attack will happen during the Olympic Games’ (8% strongly, 29% somewhat) while a majority of global citizens (63%) disagree (28% strongly, 35% somewhat). Those appearing most nervous about the possibility of a terrorist attack this summer are from Mexico (54% ‘agree’), India (51%), Spain (50%) and China (48%) while those least nervous appear to be from Poland (21%), France (23%), Hungary (24%) and South Africa (27%).

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