Advanced Television

Research: Late action boosts ad values in Euro 2024 QFs

July 10, 2024

Football fans were treated to some decisive action late in the game in each of the Euro 2024 quarter-finals. From last gasp equalisers and winners to penalty shootouts, the action really came in the second half and beyond in each match. As a result, the viewing and advertising trends from Yospace, the dynamic ad insertion company, and gathered from broadcaster customers across four continents, capture the unpredictable peaks in ad views that come with top-level sport.

The uncertain nature of live sport makes planning addressable advertising at scale increasingly challenging. With each game placing very different demands on the technology involved for both streamers and advertisers, the tournament highlights some of the challenges that lie ahead as rights-holders move to an all-IP future.

Spain’s 119th minute winner against Germany

The July 5th game came to a head in the 89th minute. With Germany on the verge of becoming the first host of the Euros to exit at the quarter final stage, they scored a last minute equaliser, forcing extra time. Half an hour later, on the verge of a penalty shootout, Spain’s Mikel Merino hit the back of the net to knock out the hosts.

The CTV audience grew steadily throughout the match as the drama unfolded. Mobile was more changeable, with surges in viewership coming after each goal, reaching a peak with Germany’s last-minute equaliser.

The ad break at the final whistle of normal time suddenly increased in value as it came moments after Germany’s dramatic equaliser. It was the most popular ad break for a number of broadcasters. Full-time ad breaks typically generate significantly lower viewing figures than at half-time, but this ad break saw an 83 per cent increase in ad views among some viewer segments when compared to the trajectory of ad breaks in the group stages..

France’s spot kick precision the only way through

July 5th’s other match was, in comparison, a duller spectacle with no goals after both full time and extra time. France went on to beat Portugal 5-3 on penalties to add some late drama to an otherwise ordinary game.

The audience for the match built slowly over 120 minutes as the prospect of a goal became more decisive to the outcome of the game. It reached a crescendo for penalties, with the ad break right before penalties gaining 42 per cent more viewers than at full time.

England’s Saka and Pickford save the day

As England took on Switzerland on July 6th, there were not a lot of clear-cut chances until the 75th minute when the game suddenly burst into life and Switzerland took the lead through Breel Embolo. This woke up England and Bukayo Saka responded just five minutes later. A goalless extra time meant the game was decided by the high drama of a penalty shootout and thanks to an early save from Jordan Pickford and five flawless penalties, England saw their way through to the Semi Finals.

As with the action, the audience ramped up across the four phases of the game: first half, second half, extra time and then penalties. Concurrent viewers grew steadily, with each phase drawing more viewers than the one before.

The ad break right after England’s shoot-out victory garnered almost double the views as at full time in normal play.

Netherlands overcome Turkish underdogs

Underdogs Turkey took the lead against The Nethelands in the first half of their July 6th match and fought hard for a second. Arguably the most action-packed match of the quarter-finals, The Netherlands stepped up a gear in the second half and scored two goals in quick succession deep into the match to take the win.

Audiences anticipating an upset were more than double the start of the second half compared to the first. With match notifications ringing around the world, mobile traffic surged when The Netherlands scored two goals in quick succession. As Turkey launched a heavy attack in search of an equaliser, the audience grew steadily to the end of the match.

Even though there were no unscheduled ad breaks in this game, as the result was decided in normal time, the added excitement of the last 20 minutes caused the ad break after the final whistle to be much more popular. In usual circumstances, a half-time break would have more viewers than at full-time. This game generated 7 per cent more viewers during the full-time ad break compared to half-time, and a 92 per cent uplift compared to a full-time ad break in the group stages.

Commenting on the quarter-final action and how it impacted viewing and ad trends, Tim Sewell, CEO at Yospace said: ”These games just go to show the unpredictable nature of streaming live sports, trying to plan for the unexpected big moments and the technical challenge of unscheduled, addressable ad breaks. The more rights-holders can pre-empt and prepare for the unpredictable nature of sport, the greater the opportunity to turn these twists and turns into a winning formula for advertisers as well as sports fans”.

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