Swedish Winter Olympics ratings fall in snow
Joseph O'Halloran
| 02 March 2018

The whole world seemed to be totally captivated by the thrill and (in some cases literally) spills of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang but not it would see TV viewers in Sweden.

Even though rights owner Discovery says that it is officially pleased with the take-up of its coverage in the country, a research note from local analyst Mediavision has noted that the ratings from Pyeongchang do not fully match up to those generated by Nordic pay-TV company MTG which held the rights to Sochi 2014.

Mediavision partially attributes this to the larger time difference between the two places - +8 in Korea compared with +2 hours in Russia - as well as what it perceives as an overall downward trend in broadcast viewing over the last few years. These issues notwithstanding, Discovery's main channel in Sweden, Kanal 5, performed relatively worse than MTG's TV3 did during the 2014 Sochi Olympics, averaging a 24.7% share of viewing compared with TV3's 28%.

Despite a drop in viewership in Sweden, and also it said in the US, Mediavision recognised the Pyeongchang Olympics as a commercial success for US rights holder NBC for whom national ad sales totalled $920 million, a new winter games record in the US. Mediavision was not aware to date of actual Discovery Networks Sweden hasn't disclosed any ad sales figures, but, quoting CMO Nicklas Norrby, added that Discovery Networks beat its own goals and expectations.