'04 Olympics Breaks TV Viewing Records

October 15, 2004
During the Athens Olympics this summer, 3.9 million people watched, compared to 3.6 million during the Sydney games.

Live coverage got a boost with global broadcasters showing 4,000 hours of live sports competition.

In North America, 203 million viewers tuned in to watch some of the games, up 14 percent compared to the Sydney games. NBC attracted 60 million more viewers by sharing its coverage with CNBC, MSNBC, USA, Bravo and Telemundo.

Europeans watched an average of 14 hours of the games. Viewing hours for the continent were up 50 percent compared to Sydney.

Asia experienced significant increases in viewership with China's 9 billion viewer hours tracked, averaging eight hours per person.

In his speech, IOC President Jacques Rogge said that Athens set a new benchmark with the highest audience, spectacular image quality, expanded coverage of sport and the use of new technologies.

Viewers watched streaming videos and highlight clips on their mobile phone handsets that used 3G technology. Also, the host broadcaster provided HDTV coverage.

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