Discovery, the US media giant, has posted strong audience streaming figures for the opening week of the Winter Olympics, surpassing the total for the games in Pyeongchang in 2018.

This was driven by content on the Discovery+ streaming platform and the digital services of pan-European sports broadcaster Eurosport.

According to Discovery, eight times more viewers are streaming Beijing 2022 content compared to the same period for the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, with total new paid subscribers to the company’s streaming services already surpassing 2018 with a week of competition still to go.

It is claimed that nearly 750 million streaming minutes have been consumed on Discovery’s subscription services so far, more than 18 times higher than the same period of PyeongChang 2018.

Average minutes consumed per viewer across Discovery+ and Eurosport streaming services has also more than doubled.

Meanwhile, Eurosport's average linear audiences are in line with the last Winter Olympics, despite total TV usage being down more than 10% since 2018.

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Linear television audience shares in the Nordics, including Sweden and Norway, where Discovery is both the pay-tv and free-to-air broadcaster, have reached highs of 87% (Norway), 83% (Sweden), and 71% (Finland).

Jean-Briac Perrette, president and chief executive of Discovery Streaming and International, said: "The Olympics are off to a strong start across all our platforms, with Discovery+ at the forefront of this early success as the growth of our streaming service continues to significantly outperform.

“It is also reaffirming the power and value of integrating sports into our Discovery+ entertainment service. As well as attracting a significant number of new Discovery+ subscribers, sports broadens its appeal throughout the whole household and provides consumers an even greater, more retentive value proposition.

“Through just this first week, more than a third of new Discovery+ Olympics subscribers have already consumed other entertainment content on the platform.” 

Andrew Georgiou, Discovery president of sports, added: “The audience and engagement growth we have experienced during the opening stage of the games really demonstrates the additional value Discovery brings to its audiences and partners.

“Through our network of free-to-air, Eurosport, Discovery+ and free digital and social platforms, we are driving more people to our Olympic content for longer.” 

Discovery holds rights in 50 European countries for four editions of the Olympics (both winter and summer) running from 2018 to 2024 through a €1.3-billion ($1.5-billion) deal struck in 2015.

Beijing 2022 will conclude on Sunday (February 20).