During the Sochi games, many more viewers will rely on smartphones and tablets to stream live events, access sports news and highlights, participate in social media and view less-popular "niche" sports, such as curling, University of Akron communications Professor Tang Tang said.
However, that doesn't mean viewers will turn away from their televisions in favor of mobile devices, she said.
Studying viewing trends for the 2012 London Summer Olympics, Tang found people watching on multiple platforms -- often simultaneously -- reported spending significantly more time watching television coverage than those whose experience was limited to the television screen.
"Digital use of Olympic content both broadened and individualized viewers' traditional television experience and, therefore, will become an increasing trend for Olympics viewing and continue to impact the audience's mega sporting event experiences," she said. "Digital media does not diminish interest in traditional television -- it enhances it."