SYDNEY: More Australian sports fans now follow games and teams online than they do in print, according to a new report which also highlights their growing use of mobile devices and social networks.

An Australia country report, extracted from a global study of sports media consumption in 16 markets produced by PERFORM, Kantar Media and SportBusiness Group, showed that the proportion of fans in Australia following sport online had risen from 55% in 2012 to 62% in 2014, overtaking print, which stood at 57% in 2014.

Alex Peebles, managing director of digital media company PERFORM Australia and New Zealand, described the development as a "landmark" in a rapidly evolving media landscape.

While most online fans still access content via a desktop or laptop, more and more are turning to mobile devices. Some 41% now use mobile devices to follow sport, up from 28% in 2012, with smartphones the most widely used option.

Television continues to be the most popular medium for content consumption, used by almost all fans to follow sport, but 42% have used a second screen while doing so.

Around one in two will likely be following a live text commentary of other matches or events. One in three say they watch other sports content such as clips and highlights.

The report further noted an increase in fans following sport on social media, up from 23% in 2012 to one third in 2014. Facebook (78% of social sports fans) is the most popular, followed by YouTube (48%). Twitter and Google+ were used by less than 20%.

Only around one quarter of social fans share content from a team/league's page or sports pictures, with short clips the most popular video content.

Peebles said the results of the Australian survey "match what we are seeing across the globe, with sports fans continually looking to digest content on the move and as it happens".

Data sourced from PERFORM Group; additional content by Warc staff