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Two Thirds of UK People to Watch the 2012 Olympic Games Online

Monday, July 23rd, 2012 (9:28 am) - Score 603

Network optimisation firm Riverbed Technology has predicted that almost two-thirds of UK inhabitants will watch this summer’s London 2012 Olympic Games online and, according to their OnePoll study, the Men’s 100m Sprint Final is set to be the most popular event among 55% of respondents. But what about Women’s beach volleyball?

According to the OnePoll study, which surveyed more than 1000 people across the UK, the next most popular online event was the Men’s diving final (29%) and that is followed by the Men’s 100m freestyle swimming (27%). Meanwhile Women’s beach volleyball nabbed support from 22%, which perhaps unsurprisingly grew to 28% among male-only viewers.

Riverbed also warned that almost half of UK online Olympic viewers would be unwilling to tolerate delays of over two minutes when streaming services before moving to a different source.

Apparently the inhabitants of Northern Ireland were the most patient region, which is odd given that they have excellent superfast broadband coverage (i.e. they should be the least patient), and were prepared to wait an average of 3.75 minutes to stream Olympic events before becoming tired of video stream buffering (pauses).

By contrast residents of Yorkshire and Humberside were the least patient and would only wait an average of 2.8 minutes.

Jim Darragh, GM of Riverbed’s Stingray™ Business Unit, said:

Europeans are changing their viewing habits. And global sporting events like Olympic Games often create traffic spikes as people use their PCs, laptops or mobile devices to watch their favourite athletes, get real-time updates on events, and purchase event-related merchandise. Organisations must take extra measures to meet the demand spike created by the Olympics.”

Unfortunately Riverbed’s study failed to ask whether or not those it surveyed would watch more online events from the home or office. We suspect that most of the online viewing will be done from work as it’s still hard to match the quality of a good HD TV set at home.

Leave a Comment
9 Responses
  1. Stuart says:

    Well, if it all does come crashing down, then maybe someone will look into why there is not enough capacity on our networks. High backhaul costs = less redundancy & less margin for expansion.

    1. FibreFred says:

      ISP’s only buy what they need, some will have bought more for the Olympics, some won’t have bothered

  2. Deduction says:

    I have no sympathy for any ISP that ends up having issues. Video traffic has been growing for years, if they cant meet the demand or dont have enough capacity/bandwidth, maybe they shouldnt take on as many punters in the first place.

    1. Stuart says:

      Trouble is, margins are tight, and BTs backhaul is expensive, so ISP’s dont buy enough spare capacity to sustain surges in demand. Spare capacity is lost money for an ISP, and extra profits for BT. The economics favour a week internet backbone, which is wrong.

      I dont know what the solution is, other than nationalising BT Openreach.

      ISP’s have had plenty of warning for the Olympics, so they should be able to get it right. If not, I suspect there will be a lot of traffic shaping going on.

    2. FibreFred says:

      Stuart, it doesn’t matter what the price is to be honest, it could be 10k cheaper or 2k cheaper ISP’s will only buy what they need whatever the price is. The Olympics is a niche event like the world cup occurring during office hours. As you rightly say ISP’s don’t buy bandwidth for “what if” just for normal usage. They’d still do the same even if backhaul costs were cheaper, why pay more than you need?

      Some ISP’s will have bought more bandwidth to cater for the Olympics just in case, some won’t have bothered because margins are so tight.

    3. Deduction says:

      I agree entirely Stuart, if ofcom had any guts it would had never got to the stage it has.

  3. Bob2002 says:

    Men’s diving in second place? Seems a bit strange, I would have expected something like cycling where we have more medal prospects.

    1. Deduction says:

      Probably due to Tom Daley bob, the Bieber of the diving world. 😀

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