The World Cup may be a time for fans around the world to watch together and enjoy the “World Cup atmosphere”, but many say they don’t plan to watch the World Cup this winter, and most who are watching Qatar 2022 will do so from the comfort of their armchairs.
Footage of fans watching games on big screens or in fan parks has been a feature of recent World Cups. FIFA has a number of Official Fan Parks around the world and this year will host FIFA Official Fan Festivals in Mexico, Brazil, South Korea, Dubai and London, as well as Qatar. Other big screens will be set up around the world, but this year they may be quieter than previous games.
More than half of Britons watched England’s Euro 2020 final loss to Italy, but a consumer survey by ad tech firm LoopMe found that only 29% of UK respondents planned to watch the World Cup.
The survey of more than 4,429 UK consumers also found that 84% of those planning to watch the game plan to do so at home. Only 8% said they would watch the game at a bar or similar venue.
The cold weather this year may make some people reluctant to watch games on outdoor screens. Typically in Seoul, for example, thousands of people watch South Korea’s games on outdoor screens around the city, but temperatures there can drop to around freezing during late-night kickoffs, so watching outdoors may be more appealing than usual force.
But in the UK, only 4% of those planning to watch the game at home said cold weather was the reason for their decision. Twenty-five percent of respondents said they preferred the summer World Cup because of the weather, and 17 percent said they were unhappy with the winter World Cup interfering with the schedule of other sporting events.
The cost of living crisis also appears to be a minor factor in UK consumers staying home to watch the World Cup, with only 14% saying they are watching at home for cost reasons. 58% of those who watch at home say they plan to do so simply because it’s more comfortable.
The World Cup was less popular among consumers in the US and Singapore, with only 10% of US respondents and 26% of Singaporeans saying they planned to watch the game.
But they were more likely than British respondents to go out to watch a game.
While 84% of UK respondents plan to stay at home, only 76% of US respondents and 68% of Singaporeans plan to watch the game from the comfort of an armchair.
The survey also found that 16% of US respondents who watched the game planned to invite friends over to watch the game, while 30% of respondents in Singapore planned to invite friends over to watch the game. 4% of Singaporean respondents plan to watch the game on an outdoor screen, double the rate in the US