Discovery Sees `Massive Increases’ in Winter Olympics Streaming in Europe

(Image credit: IOC)

BEIJING & LONDON—Discovery Communications is reporting that the opening week of competition at Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 has driven massive increases in engagement on discovery+ and Eurosport digital services, as well as strong overall linear viewership across Europe.

Eight times more viewers are streaming Olympic content compared to the same period for Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 with total new paid subscribers to Discovery’s streaming services already surpassing 2018 with a week of competition still to go.

Nearly three-quarters of a billion streaming minutes have been consumed on Discovery’s subscription services so far, more than 18 times higher than the same period of PyeongChang 2018, the company said. 

Average minutes consumed per viewer across discovery+ and Eurosport streaming services has more than doubled, as well as people on average watching 29% longer on television vs PyeongChang 2018. The free Olympic news and short video clips on have more than doubled their reach as well.

In terms of linear TV, Eurosport’s average linear audiences remain strong and are in line with the last Olympic Winter Games, despite total TV usage being down more than 10 percent since 2018, Discovery said. 

Linear television audience shares in the Nordics, including Sweden and Norway where Discovery is both the pay-tv and free-to-air broadcaster, remained strong versus PyeongChang 2018 with continued stellar results reaching highs of 87% (Norway), 83% (Sweden) and 71% (Finland).

Discovery is presenting Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 in 50 markets in Europe featuring 11 national productions and coverage in 19 languages.

“The Olympics are off to a strong start across all our platforms, with discovery+ at the forefront of this early success as the growth of our streaming service continues to significantly outperform,” said Jean-Briac Perrette, president & CEO, Discovery Streaming & International.

“It is also reaffirming the power and value of integrating sports into our discovery+ entertainment service,” he added. “As well as attracting a significant number of new discovery+ subscribers, sports broadens its appeal throughout the whole household and provides consumers an even greater, more retentive value proposition. Through just this first week, more than a third of new discovery+ Olympics subscribers have already consumed other entertainment content on the platform.”

Since the start of the Olympics, nearly twice as many people have visited the ad-supported site, together with its multiple local country versions, compared to the same stage of PyeongChang 2018. The platform has continued to extend its offering and bring fans live updates, news and on-demand video around the Games, the company noted. 

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.