The ‘Beautiful Game’ may be the most popular viewing sport in pubs but many fans could end up watching the World Cup from their sofas this month, as new research reveals that almost half admit they wouldn’t go back to a pub that fails to offer the viewing experience they’re after.
The research, commissioned by Currys PC World Business and carried out by Opinium, revealed some of the UK’s biggest complaints about watching football in the pub, including people standing in the way of the screen; not enough TVs for a clear view and not being able to hear the commentary.
And with figures from previous tournaments suggesting that an estimated 14.8 million fans will be heading to their local pub to watch international games, landlords could be missing out on huge revenue opportunities if they fail to get their pub set-up right and keep the punters coming through the door.
In fact, 52% of Brits admitted they would rather watch sports at home to guarantee a better view of the TV.
Solving these problems will be critical for today’s fussy fans – with 79% of punters now expecting their local to be showing the action in High Definition (HD), with over a third (34%) noting that they wouldn’t watch the game in a pub that didn’t have a HD set up.
Fixing such factors is going to be vital as pubs look to capitalise on a potential influx of new customers: 32% wanted more TVs to guarantee a clear view; 44% thought more seating would help, and 23% requested that pubs guarantee the commentary could be clearly heard.
Jim O’Hagan, Business Development Director at Currys PC World Business, said: “Major sporting events have always represented a big opportunity for pub landlords and a football World Cup tops the lot. However, our research shows that savvy pub-goers want more than just access to a quick pint and a screen.
“Landlords need to do more to tempt potential customers away from the comfort of their homes, or risk them becoming part of the 45 % who would turn their backs on returning later on in the tournament, meaning the loss of crucial revenue.
“With kick-off just around the corner, landlords need to invest now to get their commercial TV set-up match-fit or risk leaving punters disappointed – which, as we all know, is England’s job!”