The 2018 Winter Olympics are being hosted this year in Pyeongchang. The event officially opened on February 9 in a spectacular opening ceremony as it wasn’t just viewers from the host nation who tuned in to watch as the ceremony as there was also 212 million European viewers who viewed events over the first weekend of the Winter Olympics.
These figures were released on Wednesday by Discovery Networks International. This is the media giant that bagged the rights for the European broadcast of the Olympics events this year. The deal cost them $1.4 billion back in 2015. At the same time, they made an announcement that they would use Total Video metrics. This captures the audience engagement across all networks, including the Eurosport Player app and Eurosport, the pan-European sports network of Discovery.
The results from the Total Video metrics have revealed that European viewers watched a total of 367 million hours of footage during the first weekend’s coverage from the events in Pyeongchang. This figure consisted of 186 million who viewed the events using either free-to-air or pay-Tv, while 26 million viewers engaged in the action via digital or social platforms. It also showed that the opening ceremony alone attracted 88 million viewers across all platforms.
According to Jean-Briac Perrette, the president and CEO of Discovery Networks International, Discovery’s main aim was to bring the Olympics Events to more people in Europe than ever before. By using their new approach, they can obtain a more accurate understanding of the way fans are engaging in sporting events. It was for this reason they were so excited to announce the first results from using Total Video metrics.
This new system is similar to the Total Audience Delivery metric that is used by NBC to analyze the United States audience for the Winter Olympics. This also accounts for viewers from all platforms, including social platforms, Internet users, and television viewers.
The results have also shown a direct correlation between viewing figures in individual countries in relation to competitors and events. For example, when Charlotte Skalla, the Swedish cross-country skier, claimed the first gold medal of the 2018 Winter Olympics, this had a direct impact on Swedish viewing figures. Swedish channel Kanal 5 had a 73% audience share on February 10, the day that Skalla won her medal. Although this channel is 30-years-old, this is the highest audience share they have ever achieved.
Similarly, viewing figures in Norway soared when the country won nine medals during the first weekend of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. 3 million viewers watched via a range of Discovery channels, including Eurosport. TVNorge had a 90% audience share during the men’s 10-kilometer sprint biathlon; the highest audience share they have ever achieved.
Discovery Germany was another network that hit an all-time best in terms of viewing figures as 2 million viewers watched Andreas Wellinger winning his gold medal for the men’s ski jump final.
Perrette said they are very encouraged by the first set of results and they are finding Total Video a great way to capture viewer consumption and engagement.