Brits plan to watch World Cup online, say 30 per cent

Nearly a third (30 percent) of Brits plan to watch the Fifa World Cup online, says retailer PC World.

Research by the technology retailer revealed that of those that will watch matches online, 23 percent will use a laptop or desktop PC, while one in ten said they'd use a smartphone to follow the action.

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Furthermore, nearly half (48 per cent) said watching the match online would mean they miss fewer games than they did during the 2006 tournament, which took place in Germany.

One in ten fans admitted they will use the internet to watch replays straight after the match, rather than wait for the highlights on TV.

A quarter for Brits also said they would use social networks such as Facebook and Twitter to discuss the action during the matches.

"Internet TV was only just coming into play when England last played in a World Cup tournament," said Jeremy Fennell, category director, at PC World.

"Now, in just four years, football fans are able to watch live and recorded footage from laptops, desktop PCs and mobile phones from just about any location in the UK and across the world."

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However, broadband comparision site Broadband Choices warned Brits that watching the tournament online could lead to many web users being landed with fines and having their broadband connections throttled if they exceed their download limits.

"The convenience of internet TV coupled with the immense popularity of the World Cup games means a significant number of people are now more likely to be tuning in through their broadband connection," said Michael Phillips, product director at Broadband Choices.

"Unfortunately this also raises concerns over download limits and fair usage policies."

Phillips said streaming just one world cup match in HD alone will use up around 2.4GB. With over 50 games scheduled to be broadcast in June online football fans could easily breach the terms of their contract.

"Any football fan who experiences speed throttling will find it seriously impairs their viewing experience," added Phillips.

"Furthermore those who breach the terms of their broadband download limit may find themselves paying anything up to £1 per additional GB downloaded - with over 60 games to watch in total, this will mount up very quickly."

Broadband Choices advised web users planning to watch the World Cup through their broadband connection to check with their broadband provider before downloading any content.

"Even if you have an 'unlimited' package there are still likely to be rules in place they must adhere to."