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Eurosport claims success for Winter Olympic coverage


Eurosport has reported a strong growth in female audiences in the UK, as a result of its coverage of the Winter Olympics.

The games in South Korea were the first for Discovery-owned Eurosport since it won comprehensive broadcasting rights for the Olympics across much of Europe.

In the UK, where Eurosport has sub-licensed rights to show the 2018 and 2020 Olympics from the BBC, the channel reported an increased female audience with Eurosport 1’s share of viewing among women having tripled vs February 2017 for the first 11 days of the Olympics (+ 349%). Eurosport 1 hit a peak of 1.9% share of women during Lizzy Yarnold’s Gold-Medal Skeleton event on Saturday 17th February, making Eurosport 1 the number one pay-channel for women at that time

Elsewhere, where Eurosport is in full control of Olympic TV rights, it said approximately 58% of the population watched on free-to-air and pay-TV in Discovery’s top ten markets across Europe, on its own channels, and those of its partner broadcasters, with a record breaking over 90% TV audience share achieved in Sweden and Norway.  Across the 17 days, 23.5% (8.4 million) of all individuals in Poland watched the Olympic Winter Games on Eurosport’s channels, with the Men's ski jumping final attracting the highest audiences in that country.

Across Europe, including the UK, Eurosport confirmed it had received requests from 76 million users online, including the Eurosport App and Eurosport Player. 

David Zaslav, Discovery Communications CEO, said:
“Discovery is proud of the consumer response to Eurosport’s coverage of the Olympic Games, brought to life by innovative production, the latest technology and local stories for 48 countries in 22 languages. Much of what we set out to do in PyeongChang, never has been done before, highlighted by delivering every minute of the action in the first-ever digital Games across Europe.”

However, ratings data that has been coming in from across Europe indicates that Eurosport's audience share has been lower than coverage on the free-to-air public service broadcaster-operated channels that have sublicensed rights from Eurosport. In Germany, Eurosport 1 achieved its highest share in two years with 7% of all viewers during the Men’s Ice Hockey Final on Sunday 25th February. But public service broadcaster ZDF enjoyed over 50% viewing share at the same time, with over 3 million viewing the event, which took place at 5am CET.

Eurosport will remain the "home of the Olympics" under the current broadcast rights deal with the International Olympics Committee until at least 2024. In France, Eurosport only has Olympic rights from 2022. In the UK, Eurosport is an 'official broadcaster', sub-licensing rights from the BBC until the end of the 2020 Tokyo summer games. From 2022, the roles are reversed, with the BBC becoming an official broadcaster, with rights holder Eurosport sub-licensing rights to the BBC.

Until 2012 and under previous management, Eurosport covered the Olympics via its former link to the European Broadcasting Union, whose members once held the rights to Olympic coverage across the continent. 





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