By Nigar Orujova
Coverage of the First European Games in Baku exceeded the original expectations of the International Sport Broadcasting.
This was said by Manolo Romero, the CEO of the ISB, at a press conference in Baku on June 18.
Romero said that from very beginning, there has been a clear and defined strategy.
“First, we had to target Olympic right holders. Olympic right holders that cover the Olympic Games should be one most interested in covering the European Games because many of the sports are very well known and are qualified for Rio,” Romero said.
The second target, according to Romero, was to have maximum distribution, the maximum number of hours in all possible platforms in order to reach the maximum number of viewers.
“We have now achieved that. We have 45 of 50 European countries – participants of the Games, covering them. From those 27 are Olympic rights holders,” Romero added.
The magnificent opening ceremony was covered in 40 of those 45 countries live, as the rest covered the highlights.
The average daily programming is 5.7 hours per day.
“30 non-European countries covered the opening ceremony live. And the average daily programming is 2 hours per day in those countries,” Romero said.
He also stressed that there is also digital coverage.
Romero said the overall feedback from the broadcasters is very positive both in terms of the quality of coverage and ratings. Many of the broadcasters, according to Romero said that the venues look magnificent, the look of the Games is fantastic, and they are happy with the way it is being presented.
The inaugural European Games is broadcasted not only on this continent, but also around the world.
The total number of non-European territories broadcasting the Baku 2015 Games reached 75, presenting the exciting competition to more than 579 million households.
Moreover, the competitions are also available on Youtube and 23,483 subscribers already follow the Baku 2015 European Games page at the website.
The whole world is following the competition, featuring over 6,000 athletes from 50 European countries who gathered in Azerbaijan on June 12-28. Sixteen of 20 sports at Baku 2015 are Olympic. Twelve of the sports offer qualification opportunities for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, which makes these games more attractive for both athletes and fans.
Tickets for Baku 2015 can be purchased directly from 11 conveniently located ticket outlets around Baku, including Park Bulvar, 28 Mall, and Metro Park Baku, and online at www.baku2015.com/tickets.
Venues welcome many fans
Attendance is at a record height for Baku, as tickets to many competitions and the Closing Ceremony have sold out already.
The greatest number of European Games spectators could be observed on June 17, said Simon Clegg, the Baku 2015 chief operating officer.
“Yesterday we had the largest number of spectators since the opening ceremony, some 32,100 spectators attended 19 sessions at 10 different venues,” Clegg said at the press conference.
The average attendance amounted to 87 percent, he added.
Clegg said that particularly attendance at the results of the national gymnastics arena, where four disciplines of gymnastics took place, was particularly high.
He added that he is incredibly satisfied with the progress that has been made, ticket sales in particular.
Touching upon selling broadcasting and advertising rights for the Baku 2015 European Games, he said: "Broadcasting is one of the great success stories of this Games. We have gone to the commercial marketplace both for sponsorship and for broadcasting with nothing more than a blank piece of paper and a bunch of promises.
"But people have believed in us, believed in this project and they have invested their money in ensuring that their brands can be associated with the Games and for the broadcasters that they have the opportunity of showcasing the European Games here in Azerbaijan to those countries."
He went on to add that "We have got substantial interest not only in terms of Europe but also far further afield as well: North America and South America to China, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, India to name just a few countries. The coverage has been substantial, quite exceptional for an inaugural broadcast event. Some people are claiming they can't even get enough of the European Games and want more.”
“We have 72 percent penetration in the market in those 45 countries across the whole of Europe. So we can confidently say that the majority of Europe has access to the European Games,” he stressed.
Archery, beach volleyball, boxing, shooting, road cycling, diving, artistic gymnastics, table tennis, taekwondo, volleyball, water polo and men’s freestyle wrestling events will be held on June 18.
On the seventh day of the European Games, the athletes will contend for 16 medal sets: two sets in archery, two in road cycling, two in diving, two in artistic gymnastics, two in shooting, two in taekwondo, and four sets in freestyle wrestling.
Azerbaijani athletes will participate in all events to be held on June 18, except for the archery.
Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’s staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar
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