A total television audience of 358 million watched the Zurich 2014 European Athletics Championships this summer, underlining the continued popularity of European Athletics’ flagship event.
The cumulative figure (excluding news audiences), collated from EBU and Repucom reports received by European Athletics, was higher than the 340 million reported for the Göteborg 2006 European Athletics Championships and on an almost equal level to Barcelona 2010’s 368 million.
Göteborg 2006 was held over seven days while Barcelona 2010 like Zurich 2014 was held over six days.
Thirty-three broadcasters produced 1,677 hours of coverage (live, deferred, highlights and sports magazines) for the championships that took place 12-17 August.
European Athletics President Hansjörg Wirz said, “These excellent TV figures show the continued importance of our sport on the continent. We expected a drop in the audience between Barcelona 2010 and Zurich 2014 taking into account the respective sizes of the national markets but the audience has held up incredibly well.”
In the Olympic year of 2012, with a shortened programme that didn’t include road races, the European Athletics Championships in Helsinki had a total cumulative audience of 156 million.
The European Broadcasting Union also delivered a report on the average audience per minute during transmission of the championships – a more qualitative measurement that European Athletics plans to use in the future. The report on average audiences, which are based on live, delayed and highlights transmissions during the daytime, included only the same 25 countries that broadcast the championships in 2006, 2010 and 2014. (Countries: Belarus, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.)
Zurich 2014 had an average audience of 11.6 million (the total of the average audiences of the 25 markets added together). This is an increase of 3.2 percent in the average audience between Göteborg 2006 and Zurich (11,260,727 to 11,621,183) and is almost on par with Barcelona 2010 (11,877,496).
Average audiences continued to increase in key markets France and Germany, with both countries improving on Göteborg 2006 and Barcelona 2010 with average audiences above 2.5 million. Average audiences remained stable in the United Kingdom, hovering just below the 2 million mark.Other countries that saw increases included Czech Republic and Netherlands, both of which have major upcoming European Athletics events. Prague will host the 2015 European Athletics Indoor Championships and Amsterdam the 2016 European Athletics Championships. Berlin will host the 2018 European Athletics Championships.