Friday

24th Mar 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.

'Mr Putin steps into French elections'

Putin treated France's anti-EU firebrand, Le Pen, as if she had already won the elections. "I have my own viewpoint ... identical to Russia's", she said.

SMEs lack support in EU financial plan

The European Commission's plan for a capital markets union is said to be aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises, but many could end up being left out in the cold.

SMEs lack support in EU financial plan

The European Commission's plan for a capital markets union is said to be aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises, but many could end up being left out in the cold.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Gaming & Betting Association60 Years Rome Treaty – 60 Years Building an Internal Market
  2. Malta EU 2017New EU Rules to Prevent Terrorism and Give More Rights to Victims Approved
  3. European Jewish Congress"Extremists Still Have Ability and Motivation to Murder in Europe" Says EJC President
  4. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAudiovisual Media Services Directive to Exclude Minors from Gambling Ads
  5. ILGA-EuropeTime for a Reality Check on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  6. UNICEFHuman Cost to Refugee and Migrant Children Mounts Up One Year After EU-Turkey Deal
  7. Malta EU 2017Council Adopts New Rules to Improve Safety of Medical Devices
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Energy Research: How to Reach 100 Percent Renewable Energy
  9. Party of European SocialistsWe Must Renew Europe for All Europeans
  10. MEP Tomáš ZdechovskýThe European Commission Has Failed in Its Fight Against Food Waste
  11. ILGA-EuropeEP Recognises Discrimination Faced by Trans & Intersex People
  12. Nordic Council of Ministers25 Nordic Bioeconomy Cases for Sustainable Change