NBC NATIONAL NEWS — The remote control has long been a TV watcher's best friend, but for more and more viewers it's now their laptop, tablet or smart phone.
Viewers use those devices to dig up additional content on shows like "The Voice" or "The Walking Dead" even as they're watching the episodes, a trend known as "second screen viewing".
"For the generation that's very comfortable with those devices, this is going to be the way of the future," says New York Times media reporter Bill Carter.
But "second screen viewing" is already the here and now for many male sports fans according to the Media Behavior Institute.
"20 percent of men will watch sports concurrently or consume sports concurrently on multiple devices," notes Institute CEO Jim Spaech.
That could mean anything from watching interviews with golfers at The Masters to viewing an entire NASCAR race from the on board camera of a specific driver.
Rounding up player statistics is also popular, as well as keeping tabs on other games.
"You want to know what's happening in all the games, you want to know what's happening with your fantasy teams, you want to be talking with your friends," Spaech points out.
The researchers found that men who use social media during games were 17 percent more likely to feel content and 50 percent less likely to be in a bad mood.
"Everyone needs to comment, everyone has to have an opinion, everyone has to have a point of view and they just have to share it," explains Spaech.
The Masters golf tournament kicks off today in Augusta.
The tournament has been a pioneer in offering high quality alternative multi-media experiences on the web and through apps.
All the major league U.S. sports offer some sort of apps for free, and most also offer of premium services for a fee.