Advanced Television

Discovery claims Olympic digital engagement records

August 13, 2021

Discovery reports that its approach of providing broad access on free-to-air and pay-TV while delivering all the action on digital has continued to grow European audiences for the Olympic Games. Bringing viewers every unmissable moment of Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 drove record digital engagement with almost three times more people signing up to Discovery’s subscription services compared to Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

More than 372 million people watched Tokyo 2020 in Europe, more than 10 per cent more than PyeongChang 2018. Over 175 million of those viewed Discovery’s coverage on TV and digital, 13 times more vs. PyeongChang 2018. Almost 200 million additional people watched through partner broadcasters with whom Discovery agreed sublicence agreements, including 45 free-to-air national broadcasters throughout Europe.

Already dubbed the first streaming Olympics, 1.3 billion minutes of Olympics content has been consumed across Discovery’s digital platforms led by discovery+ and Eurosport subscription services. This is 21 times more minutes compared to PyeongChang 2018, Discovery’s previous Olympic Games, as on average viewers consumed 60 per cent more minutes per user for Tokyo 2020. Discovery’s first Olympic Summer Games underlines the continuing broad interest across Europe in the world’s greatest event, as well as the strong desire by audiences to create their own personalised experience by choosing what to watch from every sporting event, national hero and inspirational story.

Despite the local time zone meaning no traditional evening prime time viewing in Europe, large linear TV audience shares were seen across the Nordic markets where Discovery is presenting the Games on its free-to-air networks. Shares as high as 86 per cent were recorded during the Games, with shares of more than 80 per cent recorded in Norway and Sweden throughout the Olympics. Shares across the Eurosport pay-TV network improved by 42 per cent compared to PyeongChang 2018.

“From the beginning of our partnership with the International Olympic Committee in 2015, Discovery committed to growing the Olympics audience in Europe and engaging new people with the Games,” stated Jean-Briac Perrette, President & CEO, Discovery International. “Despite significant challenges brought on by the pandemic, we have now delivered on this ambition with record breaking reach and bringing new audiences to the Winter and Summer Olympic Games, achieved together with over 45 sublicence partners that Discovery has brought on-board. I particularly want to thank our brilliant team that worked tirelessly in unprecedented conditions, and with our great partners the IOC and OBS, to bring these Games so successfully to our audiences across Europe.”

“Tokyo 2020 was a truly unique Olympics and it was a privilege for Discovery to bring the Games to people throughout Europe as well as in record numbers on digital platforms,” added Andrew Georgiou, President of Sports, Discovery. “Discovery’s unrivalled expertise in sports storytelling, both on and off the field of play, entertained and delighted audiences across all out platforms. Growing audiences and engagement through sport is something we do best, particularly as we see the success of leveraging a mass-appeal platform in discovery+ to bring in new and different consumers. We’re already well into our planning for Beijing 2022, less than six months away, and the handover to Paris during the Closing Ceremony brought to life the outstanding opportunity that a Games in our own backyard will bring.”

The free and its multiple local market versions continued to see record-breaking daily audiences throughout the Games, delivering three times higher reach than PyeongChang 2018. More than 47 million unique visitors followed Eurosport’s Olympic coverage during the 17-day period of the Olympics, seeing page views and video starts more than double compared to the previous Olympic Winter Games.

Discovery presented the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 in 50 markets in Europe featuring 11 national productions and coverage in 19 languages. Looking ahead to Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 and the return to Europe for Olympic Games Paris 2024, discovery+ and Eurosport’s digital services remain the place in Europe to offer every unmissable moment of the Olympics, says the broadcaster.

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