ZUG, Switzerland – Infront Sports & Media and the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) have reported soaring television and online audience figures for this year’s IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship which was held from 3 to 19 May in Stockholm (Sweden) and Helsinki (Finland). The event achieved an all-time high cumulative television audience of 975.15 million secured by agreements with 70 broadcasters that in total aired the games into more than 118 countries and territories worldwide*.
Compared to levels gauged by the event last year, a four per cent increase was achieved, up from 937.52 million in 2012. The increase demonstrates the sustained and rising appeal of the event. The total hours of broadcast coverage were on par with results from the previous year – reaching over 4,500. Featured coverage and audience levels remained high despite the performance of teams such as the Czech Republic and Russia which have huge ice hockey communities keen to follow the sport yet were eliminated from the competition already in the quarter-finals.
IIHF YouTube channel significantly adds to global reach
Along with the growing TV coverage, this year also saw a substantial growth in online audiences through the official IIHF YouTube channel – further demonstrating the global impact of the tournament. Figures more than doubled from 1.6 million total views in 2012 to 3.4 million in 2013. Found at www.youtube.com/icehockey fans could enjoy all 64 games of the tournament near-live – aired with a delay of only 30 minutes. The official mobile application of the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship powered by Škoda was downloaded more than 280.000 times in just 17 days – outnumbering the previous year’s results by 45 per cent.
René Fasel, President of the IIHF, said: “Today, our annual flagship tournament has a unique standing in the global world of winter sports – as a thrilling sports event for spectators as well as a strong platform for our sponsors and media partners. The numerous enhancements we have introduced together with Infront across all ends – from TV production to marketing opportunities – allow us to remain at the forefront with the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship and bring our sport to the people – anytime and anywhere.”
Bruno Marty, Infront’s Executive Director Winter Sports, said: “Marking a new audience record for the fifth time in a row, implies unparalleled levels of visibility for the tournament as well as its Official Sponsors. This is the result of an impactful collaboration between the IIHF and Infront, which is fully aligned with our joint objective of expanding the sport into new markets – the success of which is demonstrated by this year’s growth in media outreach. Strikingly, the online and TV audience have soared simultaneously, which reflects the potential of this combined approach and is a strong indicator of the sport’s on-going rise on a global level.”
*The evaluation was conducted by X-Media-Sports Consulting on behalf of Infront Sports & Media.