Olympic Games In Television: An International Approach

Por: Benoit Seguin e Holger Preuss.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Resumo

O.048

OLYMPIC GAMES IN TELEVISION - AN INTERNATIONAL APPROACH

Preuss Holger1, Séguin Benoit2

1 Research Team Olympia, Faculty of Sport Science, Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz, Germany

2 School of Human Kinetics (Sport Administration), University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada

Introduction

The sale of television (TV) rights remains the most prominent source of financing for the Olympics with more than 40% of total revenues. In addition, more TV networks carry the images of the Olympic Games reaching billions of viewers around the world. This is of particular interest to sponsors, who makes up the second largest financing source of the modern Olympic Games with more than 30% of total revenues.

Methods

The purpose of this study was to examine the television coverage within 10 countries (see figure below) around the world. A total of 120 hours of prime time TV-coverage was analysed during the Sydney 2000 and the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic Games. In addition, interviews with TOP sponsors executives conducted following the Sydney 2000 Games provided some insights into the broadcasting of the Games [1].

Results

The results were grouped into three main findings:

1. Structure of TV coverage: It was found that the structure of Olympic TV coverage differed greatly from country to country and culture to culture. Since most spectators experience the Olympics through the broadcast coverage, millions of people get "educated" through televisiong programming. The different strategies used by broadcasters to educate the public will be presented - e.g. countries that prefer magazines and features; countries that prefer to maximize live coverage and; countries that use tape delayed.

2. High percentage of Olympic broadcast advertising purchased by sponsors: The results suggest that official sponsors are increasingly contributing to the re-financing of the broadcasting rights fees of networks around the world. It appears that the high demand for advertising time by sponsors is fully leveraged by the networks resulting in additional revenues.

3. Strong nationalistic coverage of the Games: National broadcasters must respond to the needs and interests of its prime audience. The results will demonstrate how each country uses the Olympics for nationalistic ends despite the premium positioning of the Olympics as a global and multi-cultural event.

4. TOP sponsors agreed that first rights of refusal for purchasing advertising on Olympic broadcast are no longer enough. The continued increases in sponsorship fees combined with huge increases in Olympic advertising from official broadcasters were believed to be stretching the value chain to the limit.

Discussion / Conclusions

This research provides a new perspective of Olympic marketing. The Olympic Games thrive on the ideals and are based on fundamental principles [2]. Olympic broadcasting remains a powerful medium in educating the public and in transmitting the powerful Olympic Ideals. However, the quest of maximizing revenues by the IOC appears to be alienating their strongest commercial partners, the TOP sponsors [3].

References

[1]. Seguin, B. (2003) Olympic Games and Marketing Strategies: Relationships between stakeholders. Unpublished doctorate thesis.

[2]. IOC (2003): Olympic Charter, Lausanne.

[3]. Preuss, H. (2000) Economics of the Olympic Games. Staging the Games 1972-2000. Sydney.

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