Australian Open drives elevated Eurosport digital audience in February
Significant increases in major European markets contributed to the highest digital audience figures for Eurosport in some three years last month.
The Discovery-owned broadcaster said today that more than 30 million unique users visited its digital platforms in February, with tennis’ Australian Open in Melbourne being a major draw.
It was the highest figure recorded since February 2018, the month of the last Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang.
Eurosport has long been the main television home of the Australian Open in Europe, with its latest five-year deal running up to and including the 2021 event. The tournament was held three weeks later than usual because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Eurosport’s extensive TV coverage was complemented by digital streaming, via the Eurosport App, with video starts up 36 per cent on 2020, and minutes watched higher by 84 per cent.
Unique visitors for digital platforms during the Australian Open were up 61 per cent on 2020, with notable growth in the key markets of the UK (244 per cent), Italy (90 per cent), Germany (53 per cent) and Spain (25 per cent).
Complemented by large interest in other events such as winter sports World Championships and prominent snooker tournaments, Eurosport streaming figures for the Australian Open helped drive a 124 per cent increase in sports viewing across Discovery streaming platforms in February.
Eurosport Digital has dedicated teams working across 18 territories in 13 languages.
Sam Lyon, the unit’s vice president of content, said: “Our mission is to unlock the power of sport; for our audiences, this means having access to all the action as well as premium cross-sport reporting, data, discussion and storytelling, wherever they are.
“That commitment to our audiences stands us in fantastic stead ahead of a huge year of sport for us that includes a raft of exciting cross-platform content plans for the Tokyo Olympics that we cannot wait to deliver.”
The latest Eurosport figures come as Discovery steps up the roll-out of Discovery+, the new global OTT entertainment, lifestyle and sports platform, with the company having announced recently that it was set to hit 12 million direct-to-consumer subscribers by the end of February.
The initial focus has been on major markets such as USA, the UK and Ireland and Italy, with an anticipated acceleration in uptake across Europe as the year progresses, and in the rest of the world beyond the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
An interview with Eurosport president Andrew Georgiou features in the latest issue of the Sportcal Insight magazine available at https://sportcal.nridigital.com/sportcal_insight_magazine_mar21/issue_5