Thursday

23rd Feb 2017

Olympics: European viewers more interested in London than Beijing

Figures show that European viewers were more interested in watching the London Olympic Games than the previous ones, held in Beijing in 2008.

The Geneva-based trade body, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which looks after 74 national broadcasters from 56 mostly European countries, said in a flash report on Wednesday (15 August) the London event was "the most watched Olympic Games in history."

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • EBU: London event was 'the most watched Olympic Games in history' (Photo: Athens 2004)

It noted that the BBC got 20 million British viewers for the men's 100 metres sprint final with superstar Usain Bolt compared to its top figure of 7.5 million viewers during its 2008 output.

It did not show any Olympic content on its international channels due to a straitjacket of licencing agreements.

In Germany, the state-owend ZDF network got a daily average of 3.6 million viewers for the 2012 games overall and 1.8 million in 2008.

The EBU's Olympic webstreaming site - eurovisionsports.tv - also sent out 34 million streams, a figure which "more than doubled since Beijing." The licencing regime again meant that only people in Europe and some north African countries could log on to the site.

EBU spokesman Ben Steward told EUobserver that the time difference - Beijing is seven hours ahead of Central European Time - made a big difference.

He added that Europeans felt a sense of ownership because London is physically closer to home: "It's European, so Europeans obviously tuned in to it more."

The EBU published its update to highlight the importance of state-run TV networks - its members - in covering major world events.

Each country had its own commentators and little touches for showing the games.

But EBU companies divided up the basic audiovisual content so that, for example, the BBC filmed boxing, rowing and sprinting, while Greek broadcaster ERT did weightlifting and Slovakia's STV did hockey.

"Evrybody knows their national broadcaster, like the BBC, and they just assume that they cover the games. But if you take hockey, it would have been the BBC editing the show and adding commentary, while STV provided the basic content," Steward said.

The EBU is not alone in trying to give a European flavour to London 2012.

German PR firm Euro-Informationen also published an online "EU Medal Tracker" showing that if you add up the 27 EU countries, they got 92 golds and 306 medals in total, beating the US or China by miles.

Meanwhile, Presseurop, an EU-funded news site in Paris, ran an online survey in which 42 percent of people said EU countries should compete under one flag.

"Are our readers being ironic?" it tweeted on 13 August.

Focus

Homophobia alive and well on European sports scene

Discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation remains a serious problem in the world of European sport, say activists, while transgender issues raise a unique set of difficult questions.

Focus

Crowded race to win EU medicines agency

As cities line up to take over the European Medicines Agency some fear a kerfuffle that could destabilise the agency's work and slow down the pace of approving new medicines.

News in Brief

  1. Belgian nuclear plant made 'significant progress' on safety
  2. Report: Commission gauging EU support for Poland sanctions
  3. Irish PM expected to quit amid police scandal
  4. After Brexit vote, 100,000 UK firms registered in Ireland
  5. Bayrou to support Macron in French presidential election
  6. British by-election tests Ukip strength after Brexit
  7. Romanian parliament buries controversial corruption decree
  8. Dozens drown off Libyan coast

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. QS World MBA TourMeet with Leading International Business Schools in Paris on March 4th
  2. Malta EU 2017Economic Governance: Agreement Reached on Structural Reform Support Programme for Member States
  3. Socialists & DemocratsWomen Have to Work Ten Years Longer to Match Lifetime Earnings of Men
  4. Counter BalanceTrans-Adriatic Pipeline Is a Major Risk for Banks, Warns New Analysis
  5. Martens CentreEU and US Migration Policies Compared: Join the Debate on February 28th
  6. Swedish EnterprisesTechnology and Data Flows - Shaping the Society of Tomorrow
  7. UNICEFNearly 1.4 Million Children at Risk of Death as Famine Looms Across Africa and Yemen
  8. Malta EU 2017End of Roaming Fees: Council Reaches Agreement on Wholesale Caps
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Innovation House Opens in New York to Help Startups Access US Market
  10. Centre Maurits CoppietersMinorities and Migrations
  11. Salzburg Global SeminarThe Child in the City: Health, Parks and Play
  12. UNICEFNumber of Ukrainian Children Needing Aid Nearly Doubles to 1 Million Over the Past Year