Sunday

28th Aug 2016

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.

Italy earthquake is test for Renzi

Italian prime minister is expected to present a quick reconstruction plan and request more budget flexibility from the EU after this week's tragic earthquake.

News in Brief

  1. Hungary plans to reinforce border fence against migrants
  2. France's highest court suspends burkini ban
  3. Greeks paid €1bn more in taxes in June
  4. Greek minister denounces EU letter on former statistics chief
  5. Turks seeking asylum in Greece may cause diplomatic row
  6. Merkel becomes digital resident of Estonia
  7. Report: VW will compensate US dealers with €1bln
  8. EU mulls making Google pay news media for content

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. GoogleBrussels - home of beer, fries, chocolate and Google’s Public Policy Team - follow @GoogleBrussels
  2. HuaweiSeeds for the Future Programme to Bring Students from 50 countries to China for Much-Needed ICT Training
  3. EFASpain is not a democratic state. EFA expresses its solidarity to Arnaldo Otegi and EH Bildu
  4. UNICEFBoko Haram Violence in Lake Chad Region Leaves Children Displaced and Trapped
  5. HuaweiMaking Cities Smarter and Safer
  6. GoogleHow Google Makes Connections More Secure For Users
  7. EGBAThe EU Court of Justice Confirms the Application of Proportionality in Assessing Gambling Laws
  8. World VisionThe EU and Member States Must Not Use Overseas Aid for Promoting EU Interests
  9. Dialogue PlatformInterview: "There is a witch hunt against the Gulen Movement in Turkey"
  10. ACCAACCA Calls for ‘Future Looking’ Integrated Reporting Culture With IIRC and IAAER
  11. EURidNominate Your Favourite .eu or .ею Website for the .EU Web Awards 2016 Today!
  12. Dialogue PlatformAn Interview on Gulen Movement & Recent Coup Attempt in Turkey