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Beijing Olympics Take Gold As Most Watched NZ

Beijing Olympics Take Gold As Most Watched New Zealand Television Event

TVNZ's multi-platform coverage of the Beijing Olympic Games – one of the most ambitious single projects in the broadcaster's history – has been its most successful.

Over 17 days, TV ONE's Olympics coverage reached 3,566,300 viewers, and in the process was watched by more New Zealanders than any other television event.*

TVNZ broadcast a record of more than 800 hours of coverage from Beijing across its various platforms, including TV ONE, digital channel TVNZ Sport Extra, online at and on mobile phones. The TV ONE audience alone surpassed the audience for the 2004 Athens Olympics by 145,000 viewers.

TVNZ CEO Rick Ellis said he was proud of the service TVNZ delivered to New Zealanders during the Olympic Games.

"The audience numbers are spectacular, but what is most satisfying is the enthusiasm with which Kiwis all around the country have followed the Games on every available platform. Our Olympics coverage was a first class demonstration of TVNZ's mission to inspire New Zealanders on every screen.

"I am immensely proud of the company-wide effort across sport, news and current affairs, digital, online and the many other departments, often working around the clock to bring the latest Olympics action to New Zealanders."

New Zealanders watched on average 18 hours 46 minutes of the Olympics coverage on TV ONE (5+ demographic). The ratings peaked between 9.15pm and 9.30pm on Super Saturday (16 August) when 1.3 million people tuned in to rowing coverage, including the Evers-Swindells' medal ceremony.

TVNZ's flagship News and Current Affairs programmes, ONE News and Close Up, built on their recent ratings successes with record audiences during the Games. ONE News' 6pm bulletin, co-anchored by Wendy Petrie in Auckland and Simon Dallow in Beijing, hit a two-year ratings high in the key 25-54 demographic.

ONE News and Close Up both performed strongly in the commercial demographics, boosting their 18-39 year-old audience by over 50% during the games, compared with the previous month's numbers.

TVNZ's website had record numbers of visitors during the Olympics, hitting one million daily page impressions for the first time. The groundbreaking Olympics site at was a major contributor to the web traffic, attracting 760,000 unique browsers, and a total of 9.8 million page impressions between 1 and 24 August.

New Zealanders also embraced TVNZ's four online Olympics channels. Streamed coverage of the Games was watched by 420,000 unique viewers.

TVNZ's coverage of the Olympic Games on its Pacific Service broke all records for continuous satellite transmissions from New Zealand to Island broadcasters, with 480 hours of coverage received and re-broadcast by 20 Pacific TV stations, many more than usually participate in the Service.


• TV ONE's broadcast of the Games attracted an average audience of 342,600 (between 1230pm and 2am the following day) a 27% increase over the Athens Games, which screened from 7.30pm until 10am.

• The Olympics popularity proved universal. In the major commercial demographics, 89.3% of 18-39 year-olds, 90.6 of 18-49 year-olds, and 92.5% of 25-54 year-olds tuned in to the Games.

• TV ONE's primetime audience was boosted dramatically during the games. The primetime audience for the Games (7.30pm-10.29pm) increased by 70% (5+) compared with the previous month's numbers. TV ONE's audience more than doubled in the 18-39 and 18-49 demographics, with increases of 122% and 100%, respectively. Major gains were also made in 25-54 with an 87% increase in viewership in TV ONE's target demographic.

• ONE News boosted its average audience by 21% (5+) across the 17 days of Olympics action (compared with the previous month's figures). ONE News attracted 53% more viewers aged 18-39, 40% more viewers aged 18-49 and 34% more viewers aged 25-54.

• Close Up enjoyed similar success with a lift of 13% overall (5+), and significant audience gains in the commercial demographics of 18-39 (51%), 18-49 (39%) and 25-54 (26%).

• Breakfast, which many viewers tuned into for an update on late night Olympics action, increased its audience by 27% during the Olympics, compared with the previous month. Breakfast continued to dominate the early morning timeslot, increasing its audience by 33% in the 18-39, demographic, 28% in 18-49, and 32% in 25-54.

• The Beijing Olympics were a ratings success around the world. The Games have been declared the most watched event in American television history with NBC's coverage reaching 214 million viewers, and the BBC's coverage was watched by more than 40 million viewers in the United Kingdom. (source =

*New Zealand ratings data sourced from AGB Nielsen


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