Discovery Scores with First Olympics

Says 58% of population in top 10 Euro cities watched PyeongChang Games via free-to-air or pay TV

Discovery Communications’ purchase of European TV rights for the Olympics paid off during the just-completed PyeongChang games, with about 58% of the population in the top ten European markets watching the contests via free-to-air or pay TV, the company said Monday.

Discovery purchased the European TV rights to the Olympics in 2015 for the 2018-24 Games. According to Discovery, viewers across Europe watched the Games on Discovery’s own networks, like Eurosport, as well as with its broadcast partners across the continent, achieving a more than 90% TV audience share in Sweden and Norway. A record breaking 76 million users enjoyed the Games online, on social media and through the integrated Eurosport app, which includes free content and premium sport streaming service, the Eurosport Player.

Discovery will next carry the Olympic Games in 2020 in Tokyo.

“Discovery is proud of the consumer response to Eurosport’s coverage of the Olympic Games, brought to life by innovative production, the latest technology and local stories for 48 countries in 22 languages,” Discovery CEO David Zaslav said in a statement. “Much of what we set out to do in PyeongChang, never has been done before, highlighted by delivering every minute of the action in the first-ever digital Games across Europe.”

Discovery delivered 4.5 billion video views, 1.7 billion hours of video to about 386 million users during the Games, which were held between Feb. 9 and Feb. 25.

“Our inaugural Olympic Games have surpassed expectations in terms of what we can achieve as a company, most notably with record audiences on free-to-air and pay-TV services, coupled with strong levels of traffic on our integrated Eurosport app, online and through our social channels,” Zaslav continued. “We believe these fans have started or deepened their relationship with Eurosport and we are excited to keep them with us for more of the biggest sports moments all year round.”

In its inaugural Olympics Games, Discovery delivered programming to 48 markets in 22 languages across Europe; offered 4,000 hours of Eurosport coverage and 900 hours of live coverage on the sports network; featured 100 Olympic Games events on Eurosport; and delivered 70 simultaneous HD Feeds from PyeongChang to Europe.

“Discovery was able to attract more people on more screens than ever before with 150 of the world’s greatest sport stars sharing expert analysis, the ‘Eurosport Cube’ studio providing visually engaging insights, and locally tailored content broadcasting live from PyeongChang and across Europe,” said Discovery Networks International CEO Jean-Briac Perrette in a statement. “We thank all our partners – from the biggest broadcasters in Europe to the big digital and publishing platforms – for joining us on this journey to engage and inspire more people with the incredible stories of human endeavor and achievement that personify the Olympic Games.”