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• Total audiences in 2017 up by 28% vs 2016
• Recent live coverage of the World Athletics Championships and La Vuelta propelling growth
• Hutton: We remain the number one destination in Europe for fans eager to watch premium, live content with the highest production values
Strong audiences at the IAAF World Athletics Championships and impressive ratings from the first two weeks of La Vuelta have contributed to a 28% increase in average viewer numbers across the Eurosport Group in 2017 compared with the same point in 2016*.
The figures show Eurosport is leading the industry in terms of increasing its audience for premium, localised live sport content on TV, as well as continuing to grow the number of users for its sports streaming service, Eurosport Player.
In the past month, Eurosport’s year-to-date average audience numbers have been boosted by formidable figures from the IAAF World Athletics Championships 2017 in London and the first fortnight of La Vuelta.
With Olympic legends Jonathan Edwards and Greg Rutherford fronting coverage, an average of 1.5 million fans tuned in to Eurosport 1 daily to watch the event, an increase of 104% compared to Beijing in 2015. This year’s World Athletics Championships were also the best recorded on Eurosport’s channels in over ten years in Germany, Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom.
The opening fortnight of La Vuelta has seen Eurosport record average audience figures approaching 1.3 million, making the 2017 edition the second best in 12 years (behind 2015). Eurosport has also reported an average audience increase of 50% versus the same period in 2016.
Boosted by the performance of local heroes such as Chris Froome, Rafal Majka, Tomasz Marczynski, Vincenzo Nibali, Wilco Kelderman and Alberto Contador average audience numbers have increased markedly in several key markets across Europe versus 2016 including the UK (+47%), Poland (+67%), Italy (+118%), Netherlands (+85%) and Spain (+90%).
Eurosport CEO Peter Hutton said: “We have been delighted with the response from fans to our coverage of some of the best sporting events in the world so far in 2017. We continue to defy the ongoing misconception that live sport on linear platforms is in decline with audiences continuing to show an appetite for premium content.
“Coupled with the fact that some of the best athletes in the world – from Roger Federer to Usain Bolt and Chris Froome to Serena Williams - have been showcased on Eurosport screens throughout the year, we remain the number one destination for sports fans eager to watch premium, live content and the highest production values in sport.”
Earlier this year, Eurosport reported an average audience increase of 18% compared with 2016 for its coverage of Roland Garros while the Eurosport Network and Discovery-owned DMAX in Spain registered the second most-watched event in Eurosport’s history when Roger Federer defeated Rafa Nadal in the men’s final at the Australian Open in January. July’s Tour de France also attracted 10% more viewers on Eurosport compared with 2016, including the most-watched stage since 2013 when over 1.2 million viewers watched stage 13 on Bastille Day.
*1 January – 31 August 2017. Includes audience figures for TV only