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Lausanne, le 13 décembre 2000 - An estimated 3.7 billion unduplicated individuals in 220 countries and territories watched over 36 billion viewer hours of Sydney 2000 Olympic Games coverage, the IOC reported today in Lausanne.

These and other preliminary findings of global research (undertaken by sports research agency Sports Marketing Surveys on behalf of the International Olympic Committee) indicates the broadcast of the Olympic Games in Sydney has broken records set by those of the Olympic Games in Atlanta.

Global TV Viewing Hours. Total Viewing Hours (TVH) uses the duration of the program multiplied by the program audience to provide the total viewer hours per program (defined in hours). The sum of all the viewer hours per program creates the total viewer hours. The TVH formula defines the event in terms of the total number of hours watched by all viewers.

The 2000 Olympic Games produced 36.1 billion viewer hours, 2.6 billion more viewer hours than Atlanta, which represents an increase of seven percent.

Total Hours Broadcast. Television coverage by all Olympic broadcasters totalled 29,600 hours. This represents an increase from the Atlanta broadcast of 25,000 hours and from Barcelona of 20,000 hours. In major markets, an average of more than19 hours of daily airtime was dedicated to coverage of the 2000 Olympic Games.

Number of countries broadcasting. The 2000 Olympic Games was televised in 220 countries and territories with 90% of the coverage broadcast on channels available to the entire population of each country. The 1996 Atlanta Games was televised in 214 countries, the 1992 Barcelona Games in 193 countries and 1988 Seoul Games in 160 countries.

“The success of the Olympic Games in Sydney is clear. These record-breaking results are a strong indicator of the worldwide exposure afforded to the Olympics and shows the importance of this sporting event to billions of fans in every part of the globe,” said Richard W. Pound, chairman of the IOC Marketing Commission.

Increased Viewer Choice - more sports coverage. A strong feature of television coverage of the Sydney Olympic Games was the diversity of choice available to the viewer and the expansion of broader sports coverage. A number of satellite and cable channels devoted entire channels to Olympic coverage for 24 hours a day.
In the US, NBC increased its coverage from 170 hours in Atlanta to over 450 hours in Sydney with the addition of two cable channels.

In Europe, Eurosport, which reaches 230 million viewers, provided a 24-hour-a-day showcase for many of the smaller Olympic sports.

Impact of Time Zones and September Games. Certain markets were impacted by the time zone, which did not allow for live broadcasts in prime time. In addition, the staging of the Olympic Games in September, when holidays are usually over and people are back to school and work, impacted results.

Continental Overview

All broadcast records in Australia were broken, not surprising for a host nation. Australians averaged an astonishing 43 hours viewing of the Games, with individual ratings reaching as high as 51.1 and a market share of 92%. This number excludes the many hours and the millions of spectators who viewed the Games at venues and Olympic Live sites throughout Sydney.

New Zealand’s average viewing even exceeded Australia’s at 49 hours per viewer with ratings jumping from a monthly average of 6.7 to 14.4 and peaking at 29.

Asia benefited from the time zone. Japan averaged 37 hours per viewer, with a record breaking 50 million people recorded as watching Japan’s Naoko Takahashi win gold in the women’s marathon.

China’s Olympic audience increased significantly over the Atlanta results, with prime time audiences exceeding 200 million people.

Increased sports success in Asia (e.g., Vietnam won its first Olympic medal ever, Sri Lanka won its first Olympic medal in 52 years and India had its first ever female medal winner) also had a positive impact on results. Figures for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies are double those of Atlanta.
Most of the European markets broadcast more Olympic coverage than ever before with much of it being live. However, due to the time difference, much of the live coverage went to air during the night and early morning.

Despite this, European ratings for the Olympic Games in Sydney are comparable with the ratings for the Olympic Games in Atlanta. Market shares in nearly all European markets are high, especially outside prime time indicating that when people had the chance to watch live coverage, they chose to do so.

The UK’s BBC achieved a 10% non-prime time market share increase as did France where FR2 saw an increase of 14% and FR3 an increase of 6% of their normal September ratings.

All Scandinavian countries noted increase of shares in excess of 50% throughou
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