By Tom Degun in Barcelona

Olympic Stadium lit up with walkway(1)March 10 – One out of every ten UK sports fans will not follow the London 2012 Olympic Games, according to a new survey.

Research for the Global Sports Forum Barcelona, which opened here today, reveals that Italians are likely to be the most fervent supporters, with 94 per cent of them planning to tune in to media coverage.

The study analyses how Europeans intend to consume sport in 2011 and beyond in line with this year's theme of "Sport: What's Next?"

It focuses on the top five European countries for sport - France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK - and shows clear trends in media consumption from this important group, aged 12 to 35, who will form the key percentage of sports consumers in the next ten years.

"One out of every ten UK sports fans will not follow the Olympic Games compared to 94 per cent of Italians who expect to follow the Games," it states.

"German fans are most likely to watch at public viewing areas or at work and they are also most likely to join the 23 per cent of Spaniards who expect to watch the Games in a bar.

"Sports fans focused on viewing quality rather than accessibility when asked what would improve their viewing experience - 3D TV (49 per cent) and HD TV (36 per cent) were cited as the technologies which would most improve the viewing experience of the Olympic Games.

"When sports fans were asked which sports they would most like to watch in 3D TV, gymnastics got the top slot with swimming, sprint events, diving and field hockey following in the top five.

"When at home 90 per cent of sports fans will catch the action on TV, with over 60 per cent predicting that they will at least occasionally listen to the radio.

"As much of the daytime Olympic action will be taking place during the day, of the students across all markets that plan on following the Games, 59 per cent will do so online and 43 per cent on their smart phones while at school."

The study also shows that television still reigns supreme, with almost 98 per cent watching it.

The only other platform that can compete with the fan-penetration of television is the internet, which attracts around 53 per cent of sports fans day-to-day.

The study states: "Overall, all TV platforms, such as 3D and internet TV, are keeping consumers loyal to the medium.

"Over 65 per cent of sports fans own or have considered owning at 3D TV and sport is a considerably-to-very strong motivating factor for 51 per cent of them."

Further evidence of trouble ahead for the newspaper industry was made clear with nearly 70 per cent of respondents reporting that they expect to reduce (or at best maintain) these preferences over the next 10 years.

This combines with the fact that 99 per cent of sports fans who already use internet and web claim they will access content via these platforms more frequently over the next 10 years.

Exactly 70 per cent of fans feel they will buy fewer sports newspapers or listen less frequently to sport on the radio as they show a strong propensity to increase usage of mobile phones or the internet.

The Spanish prefer newspapers when they do not have their laptop and nearly 29 per cent of them select this medium as second choice, when TV is unavailable, to keep up to date with sports news and events.

Meanwhile, the UK leads the way with smart phone usage for sports with the number of younger generation fans opting for mobile figures considerably higher than those for Spain, Italy and France.

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