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Paralympics impact across the wider TV market

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With over 1.5 million shares, and 5 million YouTube views, the ‘We are the superhumans‘ Channel 4 Paralympics ad is currently in gold medal position as the most shared ad of Rio 2016 with 1 day still to go before the games actually begin.

The ad provokes an array of intense emotions, drawing the audience in and creating a buzz around the Paralympic Games, whilst also creating a more positive image of Channel 4 as a by-product. According to Campaign Live, 55% of viewers stated that their opinion of Channel 4 was improved after watching the ad. The moving display of incredible abilities inspired viewers to display positive intent with 48% saying they will tune in – so how will this impact upon the wider station mix?

Using this year’s Olympics as a forecasting tool, we can identify the impact of the Paralympic games on non-BBC stations. On Sunday 14th August, we saw a variety of exciting events take place during peak hours 1830-2200, which brought in a 15.4 average ratings – up 50% on the Sunday before the Olympics began – equating to a 36% share of viewers. ITV1 saw a 57% reduction in ratings over the same period, while C4 suffered a 69% fall.

If we compare Olympics and Paralympics opening ceremonies where viewing figures are likely to be at their highest, in 2012 the Olympic Games drove a peak of 11.2 million viewers, 3.2 million higher than that of the 2012 Paralympic games, suggesting that the peak in viewing won’t be as severe as what we have seen during the Olympics.

In order to avoid deficit positions by the end on the Paralympics, our investment must reflect a wider station mix capable of carrying typical spend levels in order to deliver the required audience. In turn, Channel 4 as hosts of the Paralympic coverage plans to deliver a minimum of 200 hours from Rio 2016 from 7th September, with round the clock coverage. Buyers will need to be vigilant in assessing the performance of this programming, as schedule delivery unfolds, in order to inform optimisations.