PyeongChang 2018 a ratings hit for Korean trio
Lee Sang-hwa's silver medal performance in the women's 500-metre speed skating final was the most-watched sports event of the PyeongChang 2018 winter Olympics on South Korean television.
The home favourite's race on 18 February was watched by 61.7 per cent of the available TV audience on games' broadcasters SBS, KBS and MBC, the free-to-air networks.
The opening ceremony on 9 February recorded a combined rating of 44.6 per cent and the 25 February closing ceremony a rating of 38.9 per cent.
That compared with 11.8 per cent and 5.3 per cent, respectively, for the 2014 winter Olympics in Sochi, according to Nielsen data.
In 2011, SBS extended its deal with the International Olympic Committee to cover the exclusive broadcast rights for all Olympic Games between 2018 and 2024.
That agreement was signed just two days before PyeongChang was awarded the 2018 games, and as a result SBS struck a deal with KBS and MBC to also show the home Olympics.
Last week, Discovery, the US-based media giant, and Eurosport, its pan-European sports broadcaster, championed their PyeongChang 2018 audiences, particularly in Sweden where they elected to show the games on their own channels, rather than sub-license the rights.
However, a research note from local analyst Mediavision noted that the ratings from PyeongChang did not match up to those generated by former rights-holder MTG for Sochi 2014.
Partly attributing the audience decline to time difference, Mediavision said Kanal 5 averaged a 24.7 per cent share of viewing during the games, compared with MTG's TV3's 28 per cent four years ago.