BRUSSELS: Whatever the concerns about Rio's readiness to host the Olympic Games, the event was a massive TV and online hit in every corner of the globe, according to data from nine countries.
PEPPTV, the Pan-European Platform for the Promotion of Television, reported that although live TV audiences for the opening and closing ceremonies were lower than for the London Olympics due to time differences, millions still watched at all hours of the day; the opening ceremony, in particular, grabbed a 74-75% audience share in Australia and Finland, and more than 50% in the UK and the Netherlands.
And Rio was a much bigger online hit than London, as most countries contributing figures (Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK) reached new online records.
BBC Sport's coverage reached 102m unique users globally, with 68m coming from the UK –the biggest success ever for BBC Sport's digital service.
Some 150m videos from France Télévision were watched on its websites, apps and external platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Instagram – six times more than the London Games.
The Netherlands also set online records with a total audience of 6.5m unique visitors on the online platforms of NPO, a growth of 27% compared to London.
Different countries tuned in to different moments depending on the involvement of their own competitors. For example, Andre de Grasse winning a silver medal on the track for Canada in the 200-metre sprint was watched by 7.2m Canadians, while Germany playing Brazil in the football final attracted 8.3m German fans.
"The Olympic Games in Rio once again proved the power of live TV and its capacity to bring people together," noted Katty Roberfroid, Director General of egta, the Association of Television and radio Sales Houses.
"The Games evidently prove that live events – and especially sport events – are the biggest asset for TV broadcasters," she added.
"This is what makes TV so relevant, so appealing to massive audiences and so social. There is no alternative medium that reaches and impacts such a big crowd as TV does."
Data sourced from PEPPTV; additional content by Warc staff