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BBC celebrates Winter Olympic streaming records

The BBC has reported a surge in users streaming coverage of the Winter Olympics.

There were more than three times as many requests compared to the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014.

In total, the BBC’s coverage of the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games was streamed 22.2m times across BBC Sport and BBC iPlayer, smashing the previous record of 6.2m streams for the Sochi 2014 Games.

On TV, the Winter Olympics on the BBC peaked with 4.1m watching on 17th February for Yarnold & Deas’s success in the Skeleton.

In total 17.7m unique browsers followed the BBC’s digital coverage across computer (30%), tablet (18%), mobile (47%) and connected TV (5%) in the UK alone - with an average 2.9m unique browsers watching every day. Last week also saw BBC Sport’s biggest week since the Rio Olympics with 23.3m unique UK browsers visiting the site.

Viewers nudged to streaming?
In addition to the general trend among viewers to increasing choose to stream television on their devices, timezone differences, which meant much of the live coverage took place during the night, morning commute and daytime working hours, contributed to more viewers streaming along on mobiles, tablets and PCs.

Compared to the last Winter Olympics in 2014, the BBC only offered one linear Red Button stream on traditional TV platforms, with viewers on an increasing number of connected TV devices, including Smart TVs, nudged to access the BBC's online content, via Red Button+ and in-built iPlayer and BBC Sport Apps.

Neil Hall, Head of Product, BBC Sport, said: 
“We want to make sure audiences can watch all the action from major events however they want. We gave people unprecedented choice this year across BBC Sport and BBC iPlayer - whether it’s watching our world-class live coverage, highlights packages, clips or following the latest news and analysis. Audiences have really embraced that with this year’s coverage being streamed over three times more than the previous Winter Olympics.”

The 2018 Winter Olympics was the first event under a new deal with Eurosport, which will see the BBC concentrating on providing coverage on at least one of its main channels, plus one Red Button stream as well as online and social media feeds, while Eurosport provides coverage on its main channel, plus additional live streams on selected TV platforms and via the Eurosport Player.