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Interest in the AFCON has been high across Africa, and as the tournament has progressed into the quarter-final matches, countries have continued to root for their national teams. This is especially true in countries such as Benin, who had never before advanced past the group stage and had not qualified for the tournament since 2010; This year, they made it to the quarterfinal stage, ultimately losing to Senegal 1-0 in the match on Wednesday, July 10th.

Immediately following the Benin vs Senegal AFCON quarterfinals, GeoPoll ran a survey in Benin to gauge interest in AFCON and viewership of the quarter-final, including where and how people followed the match. The survey was run via SMS to a sample size of 400 respondents, who were mostly male and younger, in line with the typical football viewing audience.

Viewership of AFCON Quarterfinals in Benin

Results demonstrated high interest in AFCON among this group, with 82% stating they have been following AFCON results this year, compared to 64% who followed in 2017, when Benin did not qualify. Of those who were following AFCON, a whopping 93%, or 78% of total respondents, reported watching the July 10 quarterfinal match.

Despite an increase in alternative viewing platforms for football matches, GeoPoll found that a majority, 79%, watched the game on TV, with 8% listening on radio and just 6% via their mobile phone. Many viewers watched at the home of friends or family, rather than at their own home: 45% of respondents reported watching at other’s homes, compared to 30% who watched at their own home and 19% who watched at either a restaurant/bar or another public viewing place. Friends and family were also the most common viewing partners for the match.

Several pay and free-to-air TV stations in Benin aired the matches, with most respondents (44%) watching on ORTB, one of the main FTA stations in the country. This was followed by Canal+ Sport, which 25% of respondents tuned into for the quarterfinal match. Interestingly given the dominance of ORTB and Canal+ Sport, 18% reported watching on another un-specified station.

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AFCON Sources of Information and Betting Participation

GeoPoll also examined sources of information on the AFCON tournament overall, as news and updates on the tournament extend outside of the matches themselves. Results show that social media network Facebook has risen above TV to be the top reported source for AFCON updates, with 27% naming Facebook their main source of information. However, traditional media still remains strong in this category: Combining TV, radio, and newspapers as sources of information we find that 47% are relying on these mediums rather than social media or websites such as Yahoo Sport.

Sports gambling is a phenomenon that has gripped many in Africa, and is especially active during tournaments such as the World Cup and AFCON when national teams are vying for a title. In Benin, GeoPoll finds that just 30% of the football-viewing audience has placed bets on AFCON so far, lower than the numbers seen in countries such as Nigeria and Kenya. Of those who have placed bets, 24% used Yellow Bet, an online sports betting platform.

Predicted AFCON Winners

With Benin now out of the tournament, 35% believe that Nigeria will win AFCON, followed by 26% who believe that Senegal will take the trophy. Interestingly, even though Benin lost to Senegal, Senegalese player Sadio Mane was named by 42% as being the player of the tournament so far, with the two leading Beninese players, M. Pote and Saturin Allagbe, coming in second and third at 13% and 6% respectively.

It is clear that their national team Les Écureuils (The Squirrels) making the quarterfinals for the first time has captured the nation, and we expect the population to be looking forward to the next AFCON tournament in 2021.

To learn more about GeoPoll in Benin or conduct your own survey, please contact us today.