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Introducing advertising to the Olympics

For the first time in UK TV history, brands will now be able to advertise around the Olympics. This is as a result of Eurosport, part of Discovery, signing a £920m deal to take control of the rights to the Olympics from the BBC in the UK as well as across Europe from 2022. Discovery later struck a sub-licensing deal with the BBC as its free-to-air broadcasting partner in the UK; in turn, the corporation allowed Eurosport to start broadcasting the Winter and Summer Olympics as of 2021.

This isn’t the first time that Eurosport has partnered with the Beeb. Back in 2016, they were the first commercial pay-TV broadcaster to be allowed to broadcast live coverage of Wimbledon in the UK after finalising deals with the All England Lawn Tennis Club.

From an advertising perspective, the station is offering different sized packages which dictate how much coverage your brand will receive across the games. These include Gold, Team GB, Silver, Select ‘Event’ and Bronze, with prices ranging from £45k to £200k.

All Response Media viewpoint

Since 1948, the BBC has held exclusive rights to the Olympic Games coverage in the UK – so the move to Eurosport offers a unique opportunity for brands to be part of this global event. Outside of high-value brand partnerships, any affiliation with the Olympics has been nigh on impossible, so the fact that brands now have a chance of securing a 30 second spot in the Opening Ceremony or following Adam Peaty’s swim to gold really is a special event!

The beauty of the Olympics is that it is such a wide-reaching event, with almost all demographics tuning in across the games.

  • 2012’s London games saw a record breaking 26.9m individuals tuning in to the Opening Ceremony on BBC1, giving it an 82% share on the night and cementing it as the 13th most watched TV programme ever in the UK.
  • The 2016 games held in Rio achieved the highest television audience numbers for an overseas games, with highlights including 11.1m tuning in to BBC1 to see Jason Kenny win gold and of course ‘Super Sunday’, where Team GB won 5 gold medals – making it the country’s most successful day ever at an overseas Olympics.

With the end of lockdown in sight in the UK, and an incredible summer of sport planned due to Covid-19 disrupting 2020, ARM anticipate viewing of the Olympics to be higher than ever, so there has never been a better time to be part of an event like this…but it doesn’t come cheap!

For traditional direct response clients, we know that live sport, and especially such a special event like the Olympics, can be very difficult to deliver efficient results. Such high audiences, coupled with social viewing with pubs and BBQs back on the cards for the summer, and ‘appointment to view’ content, we would expect great cover, but lower response rate and subsequent higher cost per action.

However, if it is brand awareness that you are after, this could be a great opportunity for you!

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