The year’s multi-sport European Championships in Munich, held between August 11 and 16, generated more than 750 million viewer hours across the nine participating sports on free-to-air television (FTA) and digital platforms.

The figure was calculated as part of an independent research paper into the tournament, commissioned by event organizers European Championships Management (ECM) and announced at the final European Championships 2022 board meeting.

ECM said the figure was “the equivalent of every person in Europe watching at least one hour of the innovative multi-sport event” and that it showed the event had been “a spectacular success.”

Marion Schöne, chief executive of tournament venue Olympiapark, said: "These impressive figures are not the only proof that we have succeeded in realizing our vision, setting new standards, and leaving a lasting legacy.

"With Munich 2022 we have reached millions and millions of people, analog and digital, on-site, on TV, on air, and on the web.

"Munich 2022 demonstrated that it is possible to successfully and sustainably create and host a major multi-sport event, with joint forces and new ideas, with existing infrastructure and committed partners – and to the satisfaction and benefit of all involved.

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"The overwhelmingly positive feedback from athletes, spectators, partners, and sponsors speaks for itself.

"I wish and hope that the idea and the concept of our European Championships Munich 2022 will serve as a blueprint for future host cities and will be further developed."

More than 40 FTA channels broadcast the second edition of the multi-sport tournament, with online media reporting that the audience reach came to 1.46 billion people.

The audience reach for print and social media was 1.69 billion and 1.04 billion, respectively.

ECM said: “Each of the nine participating sports contributed significant broadcast and viewer hours in almost all countries across Europe.

“With one of the powerful value drivers being the building of the TV audiences over the course of the event, the average market share increased over the first four days in all the big markets.

“Major broadcasters showed 10 hours a day for 10 days and all sports delivered above the annual market share average in these markets.”

The organizers said the research confirmed the overall media success of the event, which also attracted 1.47 million visitors to the Olympiapark, the city center, and other venues in Munich.

Meanwhile, the tourist value for the city has been estimated at around €122 million ($122.5 million).

Governing body European Athletics combined its biennial European Championships with the multi-sport events in 2018 and 2022 but announced in June that it would be reverting to stand-alone Championships in the future.

However, during Munich 2022 European Athletic president Dobromir Karamarinov said the federation supported the multi-sports concept for the quadrennial European Championships but added it would need to make “important adaptations” before deciding its future.

At the time, he said: “European Athletics is extremely happy with the value of the multi-sport concept. But after two editions – Berlin and Glasgow, and now Munich – we have to really study the values.

“It is a process, and we will keep people informed. This is a matter for our Council – our Council will decide. It doesn’t concern our next Championships – they are obviously stand-alone in Rome in 2024. But for 2026, we will decide soon – it will not be, let’s say, in one year’s time.”

Addressing the future of the multi-sport event, ECM said: "Glasgow/Berlin 2018 was an outstanding inaugural edition and the second edition in Munich was where vision became reality as we all saw the spectacular benefits of bringing the individual European Championships of nine sports into one single location to create a festival of elite sport.

"We are already working closely with the participating sports who share a vision to repeat the Munich concept in 2026 by uniting the continental championships of between seven and 10 sports with one of Europe’s leading cities to create another must-watch, must-attend event experience."

Image: Maja Hitij/Getty Images