European public service broadcasters deliver Olympic effort throughout Games
Europe’s public service broadcasters (PSBs) produced and delivered thousands of hours of coverage of “the most watched Olympic Games in history”. These were also the most multiplatform Games yet, with the European Broadcasting Union’s (EBU) Common Broadband Platform (CBP) posting record numbers of users.
“London 2012 has been a triumph for European public service broadcasters,” said EBU Director General Ingrid Deltenre. “The International Olympic Committee’s primary broadcasting objective was to ensure as many viewers as possible were able to experience the Games, and the EBU is honoured to have been a part of meeting that objective.”
While time zones are an important factor, credit goes to the seamless event production and coverage provided by EBU Members and other broadcasters, who agreed on a roster to share the workload.
As always, the overall coordination and management of production was the role of Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), which also assumes much of the production. But covering an event of this scale would be impossible without the support of public service broadcasters.
The breakdown for London 2012 was as follows:
• BBC (UK) Boxing; Rowing; Canoe/Kayak – Sprint; Tennis; Football
• ERT (Greece) Weightlifting
• NOS (Netherlands) Cycling – Road Race, Time Trial; Athletics – Walks/Marathon
• STV (Slovakia) Hockey
• SVT (Sweden) Athletics – Jumps
• TVE (Spain) Canoe/Kayak – Slalom; Triathlon; Marathon; Aquatics – Swimming
• VRT (Belgium) Cycling – BMX, Track, Mountain Bike
• YLE (Finland) Opening/Closing Ceremonies; Athletics – Integrated, Track, Throws
EBU Associate Members:
• CCTV (China) Modern Pentathlon; Badminton; Gymnastics; Table Tennis
• Fuji TV (Japan) Judo
• ICRT (Cuba) Volleyball
• Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) Swimming; Diving; Synchronised Swimming; Water Polo; Modern Pentathlon – Swimming; Basketball; Equestrian; Fencing; Handball; Sailing; Shooting; Beach Volleyball; Wrestling.
Record European viewing
Viewing figures outstripped those of previous Games, with EBU Members reaching much larger audiences for London 2012 than Beijing 2008.
The BBC’s daily peak audience for the London 2012 Games surpassed the best day of its Beijing 2008 coverage. The BBC’s top figure was 20 million for the men’s 100 metres final; in Beijing the highest was 7.5 million.
In France, 34 million people watched at least an hour of the Games on France Télévisions’ France 2, France 3, France 4, and France O. During the Opening Ceremony, France 2 took a 27.5 percent market share, its best for seven years, while the next day France 3 won a 19.7% share, its highest since 2008.
German EBU Member ZDF averaged 3.59 million viewers for its London 2012 coverage, a market share of 24.9%. Beijing 2008 drew an average audience of 1.81 million, or a share of 22.5%.
In Spain 5.68 million viewers, a 47.2% market share, tuned into RTVE for the men’s basketball final between Spain and the USA.
Common Broadband Platform
Use of the EBU’s live streaming platform, www.eurovisionsports.tv, which provided 47 live feeds from 42 EBU Members every day of the Games, more than doubled since Beijing. The site provided 34 million streams over a total 6.7 million hours of playtime.
Other key figures:
• Traffic peak of 2.67 million streams on Friday 3 August
• Up to 590,000 unique viewers per day
• Viewers watched up to 70 minutes per day
• Watched in 82 territories across Europe and North Africa