PyeongChang Paralympics 'broke all international broadcast and online records'
This year’s winter Paralympic Games in PyeongChang “broke all international broadcast and online viewing records, attracting more broadcasters and viewers than ever before for a Paralympic Winter Games outside of the host country,” according to the International Paralympic Committee.
Citing Nielsen Sports figures published on its behalf, the IPC said that the games, which took place in March, were broadcast in more than 100 territories and attracted a cumulative audience of 2.02 billion people. A further 251.5 million were reached via coverage on the IPC’s digital media channels.
The IPC said: “Although the overall figure of 2.02 billion is 3.7 per cent down on Sochi 2014 where the host market accounted for nearly 30 per cent of the total audience, the number of viewers outside of the host country for PyeongChang 2018 grew 27.4 per cent to 1.87 billion people.”
Looking ahead to future Paralympic Games, Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022, the IPC said that Japanese viewers made up 21 per cent of the overall audience (433 million viewers), with almost half of them watching the coverage of public-service broadcaster NHK, while TV audiences in China grew to 122.8 million, an increase of 18 per cent on Sochi 2014.
In France, the cumulative audience was 265.4 million people, representing 300-per-cent growth on the Sochi 2014, which the IPC described as “an encouraging sign with Paris 2024 on the horizon.”
Meanwhile, the total number of hours broadcast for the games increased to 2,079, an increase of 87.8 per cent on four years ago, with Canada leading the way, screening 288 hours of coverage, followed by host country South Korea (169 hours) and Russia (168 hours).
Online, the IPC said that the games “proved a massive hit,” with activities reaching more than 251.5 million people worldwide, almost four times the number reached during Sochi 2014, and close to three times the number reached by London 2012.
It added: “With the support of a number of commercial partners, more than 13 million people viewed video content on Facebook and Twitter accounts controlled by the IPC, while a further 4.15 million people watched the Games either live or on demand via the IPC’s YouTube channel. The IPC’s website drew 60 per cent more visitors than it did for Sochi 2014.”
Alexis Schaefer, the IPC’s marketing and commercial director, said: “The PyeongChang 2018 Paralympics continue to break records and we are delighted that March’s Winter Games set new benchmarks in terms of countries covering the Games, hours broadcast and the number of viewers outside of the host market.
“To grow the international audience by more than 27 per cent is a fantastic achievement and underlines the growing global interest in the performances of Para athletes. The growth is particularly impressive when you consider that our core audiences are located in Europe and North America, territories in very different time zones to South Korea.
“At a time when the growth in linear TV audiences is stagnant, the Paralympics continues to buck the trend showing strong growth on both linear and digital platforms. With Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 on the horizon, we are confident we can break further records in the future.”
For an exclusive Sportcal Insight interview with IPC president Andrew Parsons, click here.