Discovery hails Winter Olympic success

With the closing of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, Discovery says it has delivered on its commitment to engage more people, on more screens than ever before across Europe.

Viewers embraced Discovery’s production of the Olympic Games in record numbers, including the most immersive coverage, every minute live on digital, and the best experts analysing the action in an Olympic-first – the ‘Eurosport cube’ augmented reality studio – earned Discovery and Eurosport record audiences across platforms.

Approximately 58 per cent 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 per cent TV audience share achieved in Sweden and Norway. And a record breaking 76 million users enjoyed the Games online, on social and through the integrated Eurosport app, which includes free content and premium sport streaming service, the Eurosport Player.

Discovery’s strong start with its inaugural Olympic Games boosts confidence and support for Tokyo 2020, its future Games, and year-round premium live sport coverage on its leading sport brand Eurosport.

“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,” declared David Zaslav, Discovery Communications CEO. “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.”

“Our inaugural Olympic Games have surpassed expectations in terms of what we can achieve as a company, most notably with record audiences on free-to-air and pay-TV services, coupled with strong levels of traffic on our integrated Eurosport app, online and through our social channels,” he continued. “We believe these fans have started or deepened their relationship with Eurosport and we are excited to keep them with us for more of the biggest sports moments all year round.” 

Viewership and Engagement Reach All-Time High

For the first time, Discovery has captured a comprehensive picture of the reach of the Olympic Winter Games across Europe, aggregating data across all platforms using a new measurement methodology endorsed by the International Olympic Committee. The three metrics, which together capture Total Video, the new ‘TV’, across free-to-air, pay TV, online and social for the company’s own platforms and those of its partners. Whether on tablets, mobile or traditional television screens, consumers are seeking and finding the Olympic Games across more and new platforms. 

  • 5 Billion Video Views – each individual programme or video viewed
  • 7 Billion Hours of Video – every moment of the Games viewed (102,818,493,241 Minutes)
  • 386 Million Users – cumulated number of people viewing
  • 1 Million Engagement– interactions across all of Discovery’s digital and social media properties, incorporating the number of likes, shares and comments on all digital properties and social platforms

“Discovery was able to attract more people on more screens than ever before with 150 of the world’s greatest sport stars sharing expert analysis, the ‘Eurosport Cube’ studio providing visually engaging insights, and locally-tailored content broadcasting live from PyeongChang and across Europe,” commented Jean-Briac Perrette, Discovery Networks International CEO, said. “We thank all our partners – from the biggest broadcasters in Europe to the big digital and publishing platforms – for joining us on this journey to engage and inspire more people with the incredible stories of human endeavour and achievement that personify the Olympic Games.” 

By the Numbers: Discovery’s Inaugural Olympic Games 

48 Markets across Europe
22 Languages covered across Europe
4000 Hours of Eurosport coverage
900 Hours of live action on Eurosport
100 Olympic Games events featured on Eurosport
150 Eurosport Olympic Games experts
17 Eurosport studios in PyeongChang and across Europe
70 Simultaneous HD Channel Feeds from PyeongChang to Europe
Up to 1000 Social-first short-form video content generated each day
20 Digital Influencers across venues in PyeongChang
5 million LEDs in the Eurosport cube studio

New and Younger Audiences Reached Through Digital and Social Channels

Discovery and its leading sports brand Eurosport delivered a personalized and more compelling viewing experience on digital through its integrated Eurosport App, and Eurosport Player, the leading sport streaming service across Europe which delivered a personalised product for consumers. 

  • Digital-first delivery sees record-breaking reach of 76 million to engage new and younger audiences across Discovery’s integrated Eurosport App,, Eurosport Player and owned and operated social media platforms
  • 15 million people used the integrated Eurosport App and during the course of the Games
  • Eurosport Player achieved its best month ever in February, with daily video views up 166 per cent compared to January 2018 and average daily unique viewers up by 147 per cent compared to February 2017

Discovery’s comprehensive and immersive coverage engaged millions of new, younger and digital audiences. Captured across its studios, athlete mixed zones and a mobile digital studio, up to 1,000 social-first short-form videos published each day, brought the Games to life across Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.

Eurosport also partnered with 20 digital influencers with 21 million followers to create a mobile-first take on the Games for younger audiences. The influencers, drawn from seven European markets, travelled to South Korea to share the magic of the Games with millions of fans and followers.

As a standout example of the reach of influencer content travel, a YouTube video from the Korean Englishman challenging Norwegian skiers to try Korean drinks has received over 2.1 million views. 

Discovery’s Record Breaking Audience Share Across Europe 

Outside of the sports arenas, Discovery has broken several of its own records in terms of audience reach in Europe.

  • Norway:
    • TVNorge achieved its best share ever on Sunday, Feb 18 achieving an All Day Share of 56.5 per cent
    • On Sunday the women’s Cross Country 30 km broke Commercial TV Audience Records with a 93 per cent Share
  • Sweden:
    • Kanal 5 achieved its best ever Commercial Share on Saturday, Feb 17 for Women’s Cross Country Skiing 4x10km of 88 per cent, increasing to 91 per cent amongst Men
    • On the same day, the channel secured 87 per cent Audience Share for Women’s Biathlon
  • Finland:
    • TV5 achieved an audience of 1,02 million for the Men’s Sweden v Finland Ice Hockey on Sunday, Feb 18 which was the channel’s best audience ever and largest audience of the week on all TV. Share of the match was 76.3 per cent (All 25-54).
  • Germany:
    • Eurosport 1 achieved its highest share in two years with 7 per cent of all viewers during the Men’s Ice Hockey Final on Sunday, Feb 25 in which Germany lost against the Olympic Athletes from Russia 3-4, and sensationally took home the Silver Medal.
  • Poland:
    • Eurosport achieved an average audience of 1 million and audience share of 7.9 per cent during Men’s Ski Jumping on Saturday, Feb 10
    • Across the 17 days, 23.5 per cent (8.4 million) of all individuals in Poland watched the Olympic Winter Games on Eurosport’s channels
  • UK:
    • 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 per cent)
    • Eurosport 1 hit a peak of 1.9 per cent share of women during Lizzy Yarnold’s Gold-Medal Skeleton event on Saturday Feb 17, making Eurosport 1 the number one pay-channel for women at that time

According to Paolo Pescatore, Vice President, Multiplay and Media, CCS Insight, these stats strongly endorse Discovery’s new approach to capturing usage behaviour across all screens. “More importantly it underlines consumers insatiable appetite to watch live sport whenever they want and on whatever screen they want. Now, the industry should work to embrace a common methodology to capture all engagement across all screens. This will prove to be extremely valuable to everyone, the content owner, broadcaster and media owners.”

“People are now spoilt for choice. These latest games show the power of technology and how content and media owners are seeking to get consumers closer to the action. There is a drive to offer consumers an immersive experience and expect lots of innovation around 360 degrees, VR, AR, multi camera angles, integration of data into the live stream. The future is all about a personal experience that users can control at their fingertips. It is an exciting time to be in sports as it is one of the few genres that is driving live TV usage.”

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