Expected boost to global broadcast of 2002 Olympic Winter Games
Olympic broadcast partners have indicated that the 2002 Salt Lake Games could set new records for worldwide TV viewing of an Olympic Winter Games.
Research conducted among rights holders has shown a significant audience increase with a sharp rise, since the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, in prime time and live coverage.
It is estimated that 3.9 billion people around the world have access to television and expectations are that around 3 billion of these will be tuning in to watch the upcoming Olympic Winter Games.
The report also indicates an increase in the number of channels and overall countries broadcasting the Games and a rise in the hours devoted to different sports due to increased coverage by cable and satellite sub-license rights holders.
The report has been issued by Sports Marketing Surveys’ Olympic Television Research Centre.
The host broadcaster, International Sports Broadcasting, will feed over 160 countries with around 900 hours of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games – a significant increase over Nagano’s 600 hours of host broadcast coverage.
For the first time
African broadcast union URTNA will take the Olympic Winter Games
- Live coverage will be shown in Latin and South American via multi-channel broadcasts in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina
- Singapore and India will be broadcasting the Olympic Winter Games
- South Africa to broadcast on four simultaneous live channels
“As part of the IOC’s commitment and policy to broaden the reach, coverage and quality of Olympic Games broadcasting, we are very encouraged by this early feedback from our broadcast partners,” said Jacques Rogge, President of the IOC.
“We are looking forward to excellent and improved global TV results - where more people in more places at more appropriate times of the day get to experience the magic and, importantly the action, of an Olympic Winter Games.”
A recent poll conducted by Ipsos-Reid Global Express showed remarkably high viewer intentions.
Over 75% of people in Japan, Mexico, Germany and the US have stated that they are ‘very interested’ in watching the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. In China, Canada and the UK, between 65% and 74% are ‘very interested’.
USA and Canada
For the first time since Sapporo in 1972, NBC will cover the Olympic Winter Games. In addition to prime time and live coverage on the national network, two cable channels MSNBC and CNBC will boost NBC’s coverage. This will provide around 370 hours, more than doubling coverage of the Nagano Games.
- Canada will broadcast over 250 hours of the Olympic Winter Games - 34% of this (80 hours) will be run in prime time.
- Coverage in all major markets will exceed 100 hours per country and time zones are obviously of benefit.
- Germany has tripled its coverage with the addition of a 24-hour Olympic Games channel, Premier World, and is expected to put 800 hours of the Winter Games to air in comparison to Nagano where 225 hours was broadcast
- France is up by around 10 hours to 176 hours
- Netherlands has jumped by 40 hours to 175 hours
- Switzerland has increased from 683 hours to 730 with prime-time coverage jumping from less than five per cent to 40%
- With increased coverage in Austria, the network states that over 75% of its 2002 Games’ coverage will be live
- Finland’s coverage will be 59% more in prime time than the broadcast of the Nagano Games.
- The BBC’s Salt Lake Games’ coverage will reach an additional 5 million people through the Sky digital network.
In addition to this, Eurosport will put 336 hours of coverage in 18 languages across 100 million households in Europe.
Coverage in Asia has also increased despite Salt Lake’s less favourable time zone to Nagano.
Even in Japan, there will be an increase from 500 to 820 hours as a result of expanded coverage through multi NHK channels. China will extend its broadcast by 25% to 124 hours. Korea is aiming for around 190 hours of Winter Games coverage.
Overall viewing hours and audience numbers will be greatly increased with Singapore and India broadcasting the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.
A minimum three-hour Winter Games package will be available to all countries. In addition, increased coverage will be gained from live broadcasts to Mexico and Argentina. The Games will be shown on three channels in Brazil.
With URTNA taking the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, the African nations will have greater penetration and expectations are high for increased coverage. South Africa has doubled its broadcast to over 546 hours and is planning to broadcast on four simultaneous live channels, each carrying the event programme as it happens in Salt Lake. In addition, Supersport International is to establish a fifth channel that will carry selected events.
* A full report on