joseph O'Halloran | 25-09-2013
Despite the lack of major tournaments that traditionally inflates viewing figures, summer 2013 has been rather fruitful for Eurosport which has reported one of its best ever summer audience results.
The pan-European channel, broadcasts in 20 languages and reaches 131 million homes across 54 countries and during the summer months attracted over 50 million different European viewers for each of the major events broadcast on its channels.
The core sports of cycling, tennis, football and Olympic disciplines all achieved increased audiences to its extensive live coverage and expert presentation. Leading the peloton of viewers was coverage of the 100th Tour de France which cycled in 53 million viewers, its best audience reach for the event since 2009. This figure, said Eurosport, reflected the in-depth programming, on-site journalists, live previews and dedicated magazine shows which made up the channel's coverage.
There may not have been a World Cup nor European Championship in 2013 but football also netted huge audiences. The FIFA Under-20 World Cup was watched by 54.1 million viewers throughout its duration, a 16% rise compared with the previous tournaments. It also showed every match of the UEFA Women's EURO live and drew 55 million fans to the competition, a 53% rise compared with the 2009 edition in Finland.
Live coverage of both the swimming and athletics World Championships in Barcelona and Moscow also broke the 50 million mark respectively with 50.3 million and 51.8 million viewers. Audiences were up 45% for the swimming and 22% for athletics compared with the previous 2011 editions.
Buoyed by its strong showing in its home territory, Eurosport will be taking its services to the US making its TV debut on 28 September on Discovery's Velocity Channel with a motorsports highlights programming block named "Eurosport on Velocity".