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25 January 2022
The Winter Olympics is about catch-up viewing
Event tie-insSportsTV & Connected TV audiences
Fewer people will be watching live events during next month’s Beijing Winter Olympics compared to last year’s Tokyo Summer Olympics and more will be catching up via TV and online highlights, new research indicates.
Specifically, a survey by GWI finds viewers a -5% difference (between winter and summer events) when it comes to watching live TV and a -32% difference on streaming events live. But there’s a +10% gap when it comes to watching highlights on TV and a +8% one for streaming highlights online.
Why it matters
Any Olympics is a guarantee of huge audience attention, but the Winter and Summer versions are engaged with in very different ways and will require very different responses from marketers. During the Beijing Winter Olympics, for example, far fewer fans intend to follow athletes on social media (-56% difference compared to the Tokyo Summer Olympics) or on network social media accounts (-42%).
There’s a big appetite for the Winter Olympics – among 186 sporting events only its summer equivalent attracts more interest.
Interest is highest among the older generations (56% of baby boomers) and lowest among Gen Z.
The top five sports people are interested in are figure skating (32%), speed skating (28%), ski jumping (26%), snowboarding (25%), ice hockey (24%).
Extreme sports will secure the viewers of the future as snowboarding is the top sport Gen Zers are planning to follow during the Games.
GWI surveyed a total of 10,266 consumers aged 16-64 across nine markets (UK, US, France, Germany, Italy, India, Brazil, Japan, and China). The latest research uses a mixture of GWI Zeitgeist from this month and GWI Sports datasets.