Olympics Pure Gold for Freeview

The crowd went wild over Freeview for the Olympics.

The free-to-air digital TV platform reports sales of Freeview digital receivers, recorders and TVs passed 1.5 million units in the build-up to the 2012 Games.

More than 14,200 Freeview digital receivers and recorders, and more than 44,200 Freeview-enabled TVs, were sold during July — the second-highest numbers ever recorded for a single month.

Freeview’s Sam Irvine says the strong sales demonstrate the pull of FTA TV during mass events of national importance and growing awareness of digital switch over, which starts on September 30 in Hawke’s Bay and West coast.

“The Olympics are one of the events we like to share with family and friends, and free television gives us that shared experience.

“It’s no surprise free-to-air Prime TV took out gold in the battle for Olympics viewers.”

Irvine says sales of MyFreeview digital recorders were particularly strong in the build-up to the Games.

“MyFreeview digital recorders really come into their own during events like the Olympics, with people keen to watch Olympic events on their own schedule, rather than getting up in the middle of the night.”

Freeview’s sales figures are retail only and do not include all the receivers, recorders or TVs sold over the internet or directly via installers.

Nielsen ratings show Prime’s audience share grew four-fold from July 16 to August 16; Freeview says there was no significant impact on the audience share of pay TV channels, despite carrying live coverage of the Games.

Last week Sky reported an extraordinary 83% of New Zealanders over the age of five tuned into Prime’s coverage of the Olympics — or about  3,382,000 Kiwis throughout the 17-day sporting spectacle.

“In total, Prime aired 374 hours of Olympics coverage throughout the Games – 70 percent more than TV One’s 218 hours for the 2008 Beijing Olympics,” Sky chief executive John Fellet says.

The highest one-off ratings came during NZ’s “golden hour” on August 3, when rowing pair Hamish Bond and Eric Murray and single sculler Mahe Drysdale won their events.

“At 10.45pm on that Friday night, 534,300 viewers aged five-plus stopped whatever else they were doing to watch our athletes get gold,” Fellet says.

During the Olympics, Prime’s average audience overall was 4.5 times higher than in the four week period prior to the Games.

Prime News increased its audience by 60% (while both One News and 3 News suffered audience and share losses) and The Crowd Goes Wild attracted record viewers during the Games, averaging a 360% increase.

Following Sky’s press release, NBR ran this analysis.

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One Response to “Olympics Pure Gold for Freeview”

  1. Technically, Prime’s Olympic broadcasts were atrocious, plagued with audio and video problems. The SD feed was often unlistenable and unwatchable.

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