Much like the economic impact of the Olympics, the size of the global TV audience for the Games tend to be vastly over-estimated and subject to little verification (for a notable exception, see the studies from Futures Sport + Entertainment who put the number for the Beijing Olympics at just under a billion total viewers (with an average audience of 593 million viewers). FIFA’s estimates of viewers for the Football World Cup are prone to similar over-estimation, inflating the worth of the event to advertisers and providing some sort of political legitimacy for host governments and organizers. This contrasts, of course, with the under-estimation of costs. For London 2012, there have been predictions, from LOCOG and crisis-prone cabinet minister Jeremy Hunt, of more than four billion viewers – remarkable given that just around 1.2 billion households in the world are estimated to own a television. In view of this, and the evidence from Beijing, such estimates seem fanciful – revealing the degree to which hype about mega-events can often override hard facts and scientific evidence.
Posted by: olymponomics | July 27, 2012
Don’t believe the hype: over-estimation of the TV audience of major events
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