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The Rise of Second-Screening in Nigeria’s Olympic Fever

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Millions of Nigerians will be glued to their screens, cheering on their favourite athletes in Paris, but over three quarters of the audience won’t be content with just watching the television broadcast; they’ll be on social media making memes or researching little known facts about the events and personalities.

Second-screening, which involves using a mobile device while watching TV, has become a nationwide phenomenon during major sporting events. As the Paris Olympics captivates the nation this year, this trend is expected to soar to new heights.

According to a recent study by GroupM, social media activity across Sub-Saharan Africa surged by 27% during the World Cup. A similar surge is anticipated during the Olympics.

This is in-line with global trends demonstrated in Time Warner’s Medialab research group which delved into this topic, analysing 300 hours of people’s media consumption – spanning TV, web, smartphones, tablets, and print media – over a 10-hour period on weekdays and weekends. Their findings revealed that users switch between platforms every other minute.

Gen Z, in particular, showed impressive multitasking behaviour, switching platforms nearly 30 times per hour. Notably, this behaviour enhances emotional engagement and favourability toward advertisers.

“The second screen isn’t just a distraction; it’s an integral part of the viewing experience for Nigerians,” says Stanislaus Martins, Aleph’s Managing Director for West Africa. “It’s how we share our excitement, connect with friends, and even discover new products.”

Nigeria will only have women representation for their top sport in Paris. The soccer team will enter Group C in Paris 2024, joining Spain, Japan and Brazil. It will be the fourth Olympics for the Super Falcons, the most of any African nation, and their first appearance since Beijing 2008.

That they reached the tournament at the expense of African champions South Africa will attract more eyeballs.

“Brands that understand this multi-screen behaviour have a golden opportunity to engage with a captive and passionate audience,” adds Martins. “A McKinsey report highlighted that 72% of African consumers favour brands that champion local athletes and causes.”

With social media platforms gaining immense popularity, particularly among the under-35 demographic that constitutes over 60% of social media users in Sub-Saharan Africa, the potential for brand engagement is enormous.

Martins concludes, “As we cheer on our Olympic heroes, the second screen is transforming how we experience and interact with sports. It’s a trend that’s reshaping the media landscape and creating exciting new possibilities for brands to connect with Nigerian consume.

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