In total, 464 television channels around the world are broadcasting the Sochi 2014 Games, compared with 240 in Vancouver four years ago, while there are also more digital platforms offering coverage than at any previous Winter Games, with 155 websites and 75 apps showing events live from Russia. This also includes the Olympic video player that Olympic Broadcasting Services has launched, which provides fully integrated data, a news channel, live streams and on–demand video.
Thanks to the increased number of channels and digital platforms, by the end of Sochi 2014 there will also be more hours broadcast globally of Olympic events than any previous Winter Games, with over 100,000 hours broadcast around the world, compared with 57,000 for Vancouver 2010.
For the first time in Olympic history, the amount of digital coverage has also exceeded traditional television broadcasts, with 60,000 hours available on digital platforms, compared with 42,000 hours on television.
The record Games coverage is also attracting a huge number of viewers around the world, particularly in the host country, where over three quarters of the Russian population have already watched coverage from Sochi.
Elsewhere, over half of the US population has so far watched Games coverage, while 90 per cent of Canadians and two thirds of Koreans have also watched some coverage. In China, meanwhile, 190 million people have so far watched at least 15 minutes of Sochi 2014 coverage.
The increased coverage around the world indicates a positive growth trend, according to Timo Lumme, Managing Director of IOC Television and Marketing Services, with more countries around the world now enjoying coverage of the Games on more platforms than ever before.
“I think what we are seeing is a trend of growth, meaning the number of people who watch some coverage continues to increase, so that is a good thing,” he says. “We are getting into more and more non traditional winter markets and we have had good pick up by broadcasters in various places like South East Asia, sub Saharan Africa, Latin America, so the demand for the Olympic Winter Games continues to increase.”