Warner Bros. Discovery Sports record half-year for European audiences | Ratings/Measurement | News | Rapid TV News
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In what it says is a marked contrast to recent industry trends and expectations, Warner Bros. Discovery Sports (WBDS) has announced a record first half of 2022 with double-digit audience and engagement growth on all its channels and platform, witnessing increases on both its linear channels and digital platforms.
Discovery cycling Orla Chennaoui Young 24March2022
Across Europe and international markets, linear television audiences increased 10% year-on-year compared with the first half year 2021 across Eurosport and Warner Bros. Discovery’s free-to-air networks in Europe that present live sport. This growth is particularly notable when set against a 11% decline in total television consumption across the industry so far this year. Television audiences on Eurosport channels and sport on free-to-air are up in all major markets including France (23%), Italy (19%), Poland (18%), Spain (46%) and the UK (12%). Sports coverage on the channels, including Eurosport 1 and Eurosport 2, were also seen to be attracting more of the available viewers with an average 12% rise in audience share.

Alongside an enhanced discovery+ user experience and refreshed look for its Eurosport channels, WBDS says growth in audience and engagement has been driven by what it called a “blockbuster” line-up of live sport across the first half of the year. This included the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, the year’s first two tennis Grand Slams, the road cycling season featuring the first Grand Tour of the year, the Giro d’Italia and a range of new rights for 2022.

Unique streaming viewers on discovery+ increased almost a quarter (24% vs 2021) across all services, including the Eurosport App, during the first half of the year, while almost half as many more video views (49%) were added versus the same period in 2021. Sport on discovery+ alone has seen a significant uplift (50%) compared with the first half of last year, as video views more than doubled (149%) and streaming minutes more than tripled (213%).

Eurosport’s websites also recorded significant increases in audience numbers so far this year. Eurosport.com and its local websites across Europe saw a 30% rise in unique monthly visitors, reaching more than 67 million earlier this year. More people are consuming more content with free video views nearly doubling (96%) and substantially more minutes being watched (82%). This was supported across discovery+ Sport and Eurosport social accounts which have seen a significant increase in reach (100%) and more than doubled the number of user interactions (151%) and video views (142%).

“The significant growth in audience and engagement we’ve seen this year is a testament to our strategy of making content available in whatever way viewers choose to watch,” said Warner Bros. Discovery president & managing sports director, Europe, Andrew Georgiou, commenting on the results. “Throughout Europe we are unique in how we are able to engage audiences across our free-to-air, pay-TV and streaming platforms - serving all audience segments, from diehard to more casual fans and 'big eventers'. In this way, we’ve continued to grow our television audiences whilst also seeing a rapid rise in people streaming live sport on discovery+ and our digital services.”