ZUG, Switzerland – Television coverage of the 2010 IIHF World Championship last May in Germany validated the annual event as one of the most popular winter sports tournaments in the world. Record broadcast exposure increased value for sponsors, hitting key target markets and reaching millions of fans worldwide.
A record exposure
The 2010 IIHF World Championship had almost 190 broadcast partners in more than 100 territories and the highest cumulative television audience in the history of the event, at 734.7 million (previous record in 2004 in the Czech Republic with 702 million).
There was an increase of around 88 million viewers over the previous year in Switzerland and of 165 million viewers more than the 2008 tournament in Canada. Coverage was excellent throughout Northern Europe, Canada and Central and Eastern Europe. The top audience numbers were in Russia with 202.8 million (2009: 163.1 million), closely followed by host Germany with 178.4 million (59.7 million), the Czech Republic with 80.5 million (75.5 million) and Finland with 47.8 million (44 million). Program hours totalled more than 2,466.
The statistics come from an independent, conservative program analysis, including information provided by broadcast partners worldwide and applied exclusively to the 17 days of the tournament. The report was compiled byGerman sports research consultancy IFM on behalf of Infront Sports & Media, the IIHF's exclusive television and marketing partner.
A world-record opening game
The World Championship’s opening game – USA vs. Germany – had an impressive cumulative television audience of 35 million viewers who followed Germany’s 2-1 triumph in front of a world record crowd of 77,803 in the sold-out Veltins-Arena, home of the German football club FC Schalke 04.
Full HD quality
Infront Sports & Media has been working together with the IIHF to provide broadcasters with a quality of pictures and level of support services that match the highest standards in sport today. The 2010 Championship was produced in high definition television (HDTV). The production used 22 cameras in each arena and for every game. This included both in-goal and overhead centre circle cameras, allowing better coverage of the action.
Bruno Marty, Infront’s Executive Director of Winter Sports, said: “The scope of the television coverage this year has further enforced the popularity of the sport and its value as a marketing platform for sponsors. With the event taking place in Europe, most of the teams were in the same time zone as their fans. This, combined with such vast global reach made high levels of coverage even more achievable.”
The 2010 IIHF World Championship also had impressive website figures. According to IIHF numbers, there were more than 916 million page views on the official event website – almost five times as many as for the previous event in 2009. The excitement generated by the world record and growing interest throughout the tournament boosted online demand to new heights.
Looking forward, the 2011 IIHF World Championship will be the April 29 to May 15, 2011 in Bratislava and Košice, Slovakia with 16 national teams playing 56 games to establish a new World Champion.
The role of Infront Sports & Media
Infront is the exclusive commercial partner to the IIHF – a role it has held since 1981. Infront handles media and marketing rights for the IIHF World Championship and Division I event. The group has introded innovations and improvements to its services on a consistent basis, including host broadcast production, a dedicated online broadcast service, B2B client servicing, graphic design and VIP hospitality. For the 2010 event, Infront also was co-owner of the Organizing Committee through a joint-venture with the German Ice Hockey Association (DEB). This joint-venture allowed all Infront’s practical, front-line experience of organizing previous IIHF World Championships to be utilized.