More Canadians tuned in to CBC/Radio-Canada’s coverage of Sochi 2014 than any other Olympics in history


by Simon Bassett

February 24, 2014 (ISN) – CBC/Radio-Canada attracted more viewers for its coverage of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games than any other previous Olympic Games broadcast in Canada. From February 6-23, more than 33.35 million Canadians viewed at least some Sochi 2014 content in English or French across all platforms.

“We at CBC/Radio-Canada are incredibly proud to have provided Canadian viewers and athletes with the coverage of Sochi 2014 that they clearly wanted and definitely deserved across all of our platforms,” said Heather Conway, executive vice president, English services, CBC. “There is a long tradition of world-class Olympic coverage from Canada’s public broadcaster and the overwhelming audiences our broadcasts garnered tell me we’ve lived up to – if not exceeded – the expectations we had when we secured the broadcast rights just 18 months ago.”

“The way Canadians consume Olympic content has changed and CBC/Radio-Canada embraced and facilitated that change through robust digital and mobile offerings including live streaming of every hour of competition on our responsive website and through the CBC Olympic Games app while maintaining the world class TV coverage our viewers expect,” said Jeffrey Orridge, executive director of sports properties and general manager, Olympics sports properties, CBC. “Sochi 2014 set the bar in terms of how an Olympic Games has to be covered. For the first time ever, Canadians were able to see what they wanted from wherever they were in Canada at any time they wanted it and CBC/Radio-Canada is proud to have made that possible.”

More Canadians viewed digital Sochi 2014 content via their desktops alone than all of the Olympic content consumed across all digital platforms during Vancouver 2010. Over the course of Sochi 2014, and together received more than 256 million website views while the app garnered more than 380 million views for a combined total of more than 636 million views from February 6-23.

An unprecedented 10.7 million Canadians watched Olympic content via online streams on the CBC and/or SRC sites throughout Sochi 2014, and they consumed about 14 million hours of online video content. This is almost twice as much as was consumed during the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games.

As of February 23, there were more than 2.5 million downloads of the  CBC Olympic Games Mobile App on iOS and Android devices.

Day 16 (Sunday, February 23) was the most-watched day of Sochi 2014 with a daily reach of 26.5 million viewers. The Men’s Ice Hockey gold medal match was viewed by approximately 15 million Canadians (almost half the population), generating an average 2+ audience of more than 8.5 million over the five networks that broadcast the game live from 7:10 – 9:19 a.m. ET. The audience peaked at 9:19 a.m. ET with 12 million viewers across all networks as the final seconds ticked off the clock. Approximately 90 per cent of the entire English television audience watching TV from 7:10 – 9:19 a.m. ET was to the gold medal game. That number climbs to 97 per cent of the English television viewing audience in Vancouver/Victoria and Edmonton and Calgary, where the game started at 4:10 a.m. and 5:10 a.m., respectively.

More from Day 16 (Sunday, Feb. 23):

  • As Canadians started to wake up across the country, the medal ceremony which aired just after the game, generated a 2+ audience of almost 10.7 million, with almost 13.5 million Canadians tuning in for at least some part of the celebration
  • Canadians flocked to television to watch the Men’s Ice Hockey gold medal game, with overall English television viewing levels more than tripling during game time
  • On a typical Sunday from 7:10am to 9:19am EST, there are an average of 2.1 million people watching English television. On Sunday, February 23, there was an average of 9.5 million people watching English Television at that time
  • This trend was even more pronounced in Western Canada. In Vancouver, the overall available English audience was nine times higher than normal, in Calgary it was almost eight times higher, in Edmonton six times higher, while in Toronto it was three times higher 
  • One in three Canadians (almost 12 million) tuned in to watch the Closing Ceremonies live, with an average audience of 4.6 million

Sources: BBM Canada and Adobe Site Catalyst

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