POSTED: March 25th 2009

Beijing bonus for Olympic TV

The Bird's Nest, centre of world sport focus last August /
The Bird's Nest, centre of world sport focus last August /

KEIR RADNEDGE / Sports Features Communications

DENVER: Worldwide television coverage of last year’s Beijing Olympics totalled a record 61,000 hours – more than twice the volume of the Sydney Games in 2000.

Timo Lumme, the International Olympic Committee’s managing director of television and marketing services, reeled out the literally eye-catching figures in releasing details of a post-Games survey commissioned among a sample 12,000 respondents in 16 major markets from London-based Sponsorship Intelligence.

The results were presented to the IOC executive board meeting at Sportaccord in Denver and the percentages, a majority in the 70s, expressed a high level of engagement among worldwide sports fans and a remarkable 96 per cent recognition rate for the Olympic rings symbol.

However “only” 53 per cent agreed that the Games were relevant to the younger generation. Lumme rejected a questioned suggestion that this should be a particular cause for concern.

Some 76 per cent considered the Games “successful or very successful” but this perception was compromised to some extend b y the allied assessment that such success was linked to the medal-winning success of athletes from the respondents’ countries.

Television coverage, said Lumme, by 363 channels worldwide had totalled 61,000 hours, significantly beyond the 29,400 hours recorded from the Sydney Games. He said that the first Games to be considered fully digital had recorded 60,000 hours.

A worldwide audience of 1.5bn had watched the opening ceremony in the Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing . . . half of them from China itself.

Chinese all-platform rights for the Winter Games of Vancouver 2010 and London 2012 have just been sold by the IOC to state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV).

Keywords · Beijing · Olympic Games · television · IOC · Lumme

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