The Olympics has long been highly lucrative for broadcasters looking to drive strong viewer numbers.
As the digital landscape continues to disrupt broadcast TV, the value of the Olympics is brought into question
Australia has always been a nation of avid sports fans, and the Olympics has long captured the attention of the Australian populace. But could our love affair with the Olympics be coming to an end?
Broadcast viewing of the Olympics has fallen. Fewer people are watching linear broadcast television, and this trend has also translated to our viewing of the Olympic Games. This year’s Opening Ceremony had its lowest ratings on Australian broadcast TV since 2001
Digital streaming has increased, though not in numbers, and time watched, to sufficiently offset the decline in broadcast TV viewing. Digital streams via the 7 app, and through web browsers have grown dramatically. However, initial technical limitations, time zone differences, and the poor performance of the Australian team has no doubt limited Australian interest and hence streams, and minutes streamed
The overall attractiveness of the Olympic Games is also in question. As international sporting codes expand into the global market, interest groups around the world are having their sporting wants met on an annual basis. Additionally, the rise of alternative means of entertainment, including social and gaming means audiences are now more “distracted” and harder to engage
The Olympics are by no means worthless. As the direct value associated with broadcast views falls away, more of the Olympic value is in realising strategic benefits (branding, launch platform for content etc.)