By Daniel Hunter

Londoners and those in the North East are among the most likely to visit the pub to watch the 2012 Olympics, according to research commissioned by Casio Projectors.

While those in the capital and the North East remain enthusiastic about London 2012, with 31 per cent and 35 per cent respectively revealing they will visit their local to watch the Olympics, the rest of the UK reported significantly less interest.

In the South West, just 16 per cent of respondents indicated they would watch the world’s most famous sporting event at the pub; in the East Midlands and the North West that figure dropped to 15 per cent; and the East of England had the lowest forecast attendance of all, with a mere 11 per cent.

The study, conducted by Opinium Research, questioned over 2,000 British adults aged 18 and over to discover how UK consumers plan to watch the many sporting events scheduled to take place over the coming year. According to the survey, on average just 21 per cent of the UK will visit the pub to watch the Olympics this year.

Despite the lack of interest in London 2012, pub-goers reported a far greater appetite for Euro 2012 and the Premier League. The UK average for viewing football at the pub was significantly higher than the Olympics, at 40 per cent for the Premier League and 39 per cent for the Euro 2012 Championships.

The research also revealed that the most football-mad pub punters in the UK hail from the North East, where 63 per cent of respondents said they plan to watch Premier League football in their local, while 50 per cent will be watching Euro 2012 from the comfort of a pub or bar too.

With pubs currently facing tough economic realities, many in the hospitality sector had hoped for a much-needed boost from a packed sporting calendar in 2012. However, Casio Projectors’ survey found that despite headline events such as the Olympics and Euro 2012, the vast majority of sports fans (54 per cent) don’t intend to visit their local any more often in 2012.

“Many pubs, bars and other venues had been relying on sports 2012, and all the sports broadcasting scheduled for the year, to deliver a significant boost for revenue," Nieve Cavanagh, Casio Projectors’ Senior Product Marketing Manager, said.

"In fact, our research has shown that footfall at pubs isn’t necessarily set to increase, despite the lure of the Olympics and Euro 2012.

“If pubs and bars want to increase their revenue, it’s crucial that they create an atmosphere to entice people out of their living rooms – with large screens, and a consistently high-performance broadcast.”

“Projectors are perfect if landlords and venue managers want one large, bright display rather than having to spend on multiple flat screen TVs, but it’s crucial that hidden maintenance costs are taken into account. Lamp-free projectors are one of a number of ways that the total cost of ownership can be kept in check.”

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