Olympics: Sochi Games global broadcast output dwarfs Vancouver

Reuters, Wednesday 19 Feb 2014

Sochi Winter Olympics
Canada's Ariane Lavigne competes during the women's snowboard parallel giant slalom finals at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games in Rosa Khutor February 19, 2014. (Photo: REUTERS)

The global broadcast output for the Sochi Winter Olympics is almost double that of Vancouver four years ago in terms of hours and channels, International Olympic Committee officials said on Wednesday.

More than 102,000 hours were broadcast globally across 464 channels and digital platforms compared to 57,000 hours from 240 broadcasters in 2010, Timo Lumme, managing director of IOC Television and Marketing Services, told reporters.

"The global broadcast has been bigger than for any previous Winter Games," Lumme said. "Television is 42,000 hours on against 32,000 in Vancouver, and if you take the digital component it is 60,000 hours against 25,000 hours in Vancouver."

He said over half of the United States population had watched some of the Games, three quarters of Russians tuned in to their home Olympics while over 90 percent of Canadians switched on for the action in Russia along with 190 million Chinese viewers.

Lumme said the Games had reached an estimated viewership of around 500 million people worldwide, with 230 digital destinations on top of traditional broadcasters.

Of the 230, 155 were websites and 75 were applications.

"We seem to be seeing a clear evolution in viewing patterns," Lumme said. "We now are seeing a real shift from fixed screen to mobile."

Russia's first Winter Games have been equally successful on the sponsorship level, setting a record for both Summer and Winter Olympics, by raking in about $1.3 billion in domestic sponsorship deals.

Total venue and infrastructure investment for the February 7-23 Olympics and the region exceeded $50 billion, according to Russian officials, making them the most expensive Games ever staged.

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