Branding the World of Sports

3/4 of the World watched the 2008 Olympics

Posted by ZA on September 8, 2008

The 2008 Beijing Olympics were the most watched games in history; Nielsen Media Research reported that over 4.7 billion people watched over the 17 days of competition.  That means that over 70% of the population of the World watched some part of the 2008 Olympics. The Nielsen ratings are the based on audience surveys done in over 100 countries around the World.  Nielsen surveyed “37 markets” to come with these Olympic figures.

4.7 billion viewers is another record for China on these Games, surpassing the 3.9 billion viewers reported for the 2004 Olympics in Athens, the 3.6 billion people worldwide who watched the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and the 3.2 billion from Atlanta 1996.  Those viewer figures should push over 5 billion for the 2012 Games in London, which was the first Olympics to ever cost more than $1 billion in US broadcast rights fees.

The Nielsen Media Research figures revealed that 94% of the Chinese population of 1.3 billion people watched the 2008 Olympics.  The next highest rate of viewership for a nation was South Korea (94%) and surprisingly Mexico (93%).  The percentage was not as high in the United States, but the 2008 Olympics were the most viewed TV event ever with 211 million viewers, surpassing the 209 million that watched the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta, Georgia.  NBC averaged 27.7 million viewers per day during the 17 days of the 2008 Games. 

Now you know why those corporations pay such big bucks to sponsor the Olympics.  Where else can you have the opportunity to capture the attention of the majority of the World’s population.  There are only a handful of events that have global appeal including the World Cup and Superbowl, but the Olympics is the biggest of them all.

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