In general, the analyst says that while television is increasingly challenged by non-linear ways of consumption, sports and live television are still a perfect match. In the 45 countries studied in the survey, football accounted for a large part of the sports programming on generalist channels: 27% on average, but more than 70% in countries such as Portugal and Russia.
Médiamétrie added that the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers performances also offered an insight into measuring fans’ eagerness to support their teams in the finals in Russia beginning 14 June. In Belgium for instance, all seven matches in the Red Devils’ campaign that took place between September 2016 and June 2017 were part of the top ten best sports audiences for 2017. In Croatia, the national team qualifiers scored an average market share of 43.7% on HTV1 & HTV2.
And so-called secondary football also scored well. In the Netherlands, the victory of the country’s women’s national team over Denmark for the final of Women’s Euro championship gathered 4.1 million viewers on NPO1, an 82.7% market share. This was the best Sports audience of the season on Dutch television.
European football did well when exported. In Indonesia, the tenth best sports audience of this year was the UEFA Champions League final between Real Madrid and Juventus on 3 June, with an average of 2.9 million viewers who turned their television on between 1.30am and 4am local time.
Commenting on the research findings, Yassine Berhoun, sports director at Médiamétrie EurodataTV Worldwide, said: “In 2017 again, a number of sports programmes have gathered significant audiences in spite of the transfer of rights to pay-TV. Consequently, alternative competitions have successfully been broadcast on public channels like the Women Euro in the Netherlands for example.”