Volvo Ocean Race viewing stats

Media breakdown from the round the world race.

Thursday September 19th 2002, Author: Lizzie Green, Location: Transoceanic
The Volvo Ocean Race 2001-2002 continues to be the world's premier ocean race as media figures show that the event has surpassed its media objectives and set a new standard in coverage for this ocean grand prix event.

Exciting video footage was delivered by Granada Sport, the event's broadcast partner, to a substantial and varied audience, bringing the event to the homes of millions through an integrated service of dedicated television programmes coupled with huge news coverage worldwide. More than 55 broadcasters televised the weekly and monthly programmes worldwide. In addition many of the broadcasters covered the Volvo Ocean Race regularly, as well as providing news coverage, introduced for the first time in the 2001-2002 edition of the race, which was highly successful in accelerating viewing figures across a wider audience.

Television coverage was monitored globally for the dedicated Volvo Ocean Race programmes throughout the period of the race, while news and general sports programming was monitored in Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, the UK and the USA. South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Brazil were monitored only in connection to the stopover period in each particular country.

Over the nearly ten-month period of the race, the television coverage in the monitored countries amounted to 996 hours, with 4,152 items, split between dedicated programmes, coverage in existing sports programmes and news reports. The total viewer hours equated to over 92 million, with the total cumulative audience totalling 811 million. An estimated total unique audience of 150 million people followed the Volvo Ocean Race for an average of more than 30 minutes each. Overall results show that the dedicated programmes achieved better ratings than in previous races, as well as better
quality and quantity of broadcasts. 71% of the audience watched the Volvo
Ocean Race on the news.

Germany was the highest rating territory with a cumulative audience of 274 million people with the UK finishing second overall with an audience figure of 87 million. France marked the event with the third highest market with audience figures reaching 86 million, while Brazil accounted for a figure of 85 million. With two stopovers in the USA, viewing figures there reached a total of 80 million.

With strong support in the other stopover territories of Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Sweden, supported by coverage in countries such as China, Canada, Holland, Japan, Italy, Thailand, Spain, Austria, Argentina and Poland, it is possible to gauge the number of markets that were exposed to this worldwide sporting event.

In the press, the monitoring was for the full 11 countries throughout the entire Volvo Ocean Race and 15,264 cuttings were accumulated. Germany accounted for 29% of the articles, Sweden 18% and the UK 16%.

The cumulative circulation of publications featuring the Volvo Ocean Race was 229,585,872. This generated a cumulative readership in excess of 640 million people with each article having an average readership of 43,496 people, although these figures only represent a snapshot of the actual global coverage, which was not monitored.

In addition to the print coverage, the in-house on-line image archive, set up for the first time in the history of the event, was highly successful, adding to the impact of the articles. The service was used by over 1500 picture desks with over 2500 high resolution images and 6000 - 10,000 low resolution images downloaded by the print and electronic media throughout the duration of the race.

Radio formed an important part of the media mix, and was delivered on behalf of the event by The Broadcasting Company. By the end of the race, more than a billion listeners had been reached on stations around the world with comprehensive coverage on the BBC World Service and Voice of America. The interviews were not only sent out to radio stations around the world, but were also used on some of the biggest websites, including BBC On-Line and CNN as well as VolvoOceanRace.org, the official event website.

From 1 September 2001 to 30 June 2002, VolvoOceanRace.org received over 3 million unique visitors going to the site 17.5 million times, spending an average of 9.26 minutes on the site and generating 102.3 million page views. Over the lifetime of the event, users from 66 countries registered at VolvoOceanRace.org. The top 10 countries by number of visits were United States (all .com addresses are attributed to the U.S.), Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany, U.K., Denmark, Australia, New Zealand, Finland.

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