The World Cup is Taking People Off the Internet, Says EE

By Tom Pritchard on at

The internet is a big part of our life, and people do spend an awful lot of time online, mainly on our phones but also on the old fashioned computer. Just like you are while reading this. But the internet isn't everything, and there are ways to pull people off the web and do real things in the real world. Like watching football.

EE has noticed broadband internet usage has dropped significantly during the World Cup, corroborating past statistics from PornHub that saw a drop in English traffic during the FA Cup Final. According to the network the tournament has either driven people to their phones, or offline completely, as they head to the pub, living room, or their friends house to watch the England team somehow not lose as much as people expected.

The network has confirmed its seen traffic drop throughout the tournament, but the biggest dip was during the England v Colombia game on Tuesday night. Still people are still using their phones to tune into other games, just in not as large numbers. The Sweden vs Switzerland match, for instance, has three times fewer viewers on EE's network - as you can see on the graph below. Though it probably didn't help that it was in the middle of the day when people are at work.

Obviously ITV was the place most people went to to stream the latest game, since it was the only channel actually showing the game. Still there were a significant number on Sky Go, 20 per cent according to EE, probably because ITV Hub is rubbish and in desperate need of upgrades. EE also noticed a big drop in traffic at half time, as you can see, which it attributed to people leaving the streams to comment on social media.


It doesn't have stats for Twitter for some reason, so I can only assume it wasn't nearly as popular as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. Facebook was the obvious winner, except one moment towards the end of the evening - which just about correlates with the penalty shootout. Clearly people were recording the penalties with their phone and snapping it to all their friends.

So there it is. You want to get people (mostly) off the internet, you should stage more massive football tournaments. Hooray.