A third of Brits may watch the World Cup online

According to retailer of elecrical kit, PC World, almost a third of Britons will watch the World Cup online.

The retailer said it has questioned over 3,000 Brits and a staggering 30 per cent of them said they'd watch some of games online.

And one in ten confessed that they'd be following the action using a smart phone such as a BlackBerry or iPhone.

The research reflects a surge in the numbers of Brits using the Internet to watch live TV and recorded footage since the last World Cup.

PC Word said it had seen a 30 per cent surge in demand for Slingboxes in the last two weeks, suggesting buyers will use the device users to stream live TV to a laptop or mobile phone while they are on the move.

Sales of Nintendo Wiis and PS3s, which can act as media streamers, have also seen increase, the retailer said.

More replays of the games will be watched online than on TV. When questioned, over 10 per cent more viewers said they use the Internet to watch repeat footage rather than wait for the highlights on TV. Some 11 per cent - a hard-core football faction, we assume -said they already use the Web to watch footage at least twice after a game.

World Cup games will be available for up to a week after each match and available to download for free from BBC iPlayer and iTV. Usually, Match of the Day doesn't even appear on the iPlayer, sending fans scuttling off to YouTube and the like.

Jeremy Fennell, Category Director, PC World, said: "Internet TV was only just coming into play when England last played in a World Cup tournament. Now, in just four years, football fans are able to watch live and recorded footage from laptops, desktop PCs and mobile phones from just about any location in the UK and across the world."

The Support England in World Cup 2010 Facebook fan site currently has nearly 110,000 members.