11 February 2014, Brussels - The Super Bowl final between Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos in New Jersey set a new highest TV viewership record in the US ever with 111.5 million viewers. Following this tremendous success for the first big global TV event of 2014, the European TV sector has identified four grounds for optimism for the year ahead.
We are living in a true Golden Age of television. Across Europe, viewing of scheduled television has grown every year for the past 12 years to a daily average of 235 minutes. Pan-European data is not yet available for 2013 but early indications are that, even in a year without big global sports events, TV viewing remained stable.
Although there are regional variations reflecting the economic difficulties facing many parts of Europe, on average European broadcast revenues, whether from subscription or advertising, continue to grow and are keeping ahead of the overall economy (and helping generate a wider economic growth as shown by a recent Belgian study). Latest British research showed that every £1 spent in advertising pays back £6 to the national economy.
Also 2013 saw a growth in new TV advertising clients: 7771 compared to 670 in 2012 in France, 750 new clients on TV in Germany2 and there were 737 new or returning advertisers to UK TV3.
The average TV screen size in German homes has more than doubled in the past decade, from 38 cm in 2003 to 82 cm in 2013, a 115% increase. There were 34 million new TV sets being sold in Germany since 2010 (in a country of 36 million TV households). In France, an average screen size has grown from 65 cm in 2006 to 84 cm in 2013 (+29%). It is estimated that 29.4 million new TV sets were sold in France since 2010 (in a country of 26.9 million TV households).
European broadcasters noted that the appeal of the Super Bowl remains undiminished, with advertising spots in and around the game sold out weeks in advance and trading at 4 million dollars4. Recent figures confirm that the live sports events continue to attract mass audiences in Europe too:
2014 will be an exciting year for international and European sport fans. With the Sochi Olympics underway – reaching 3 billion viewers worldwide for its opening ceremony – and the FIFA World Cup in the summer, there is a good chance that audience records will be broken again in some territories.
1 Source: Kantar Media; Data without sponsoring and valorised TV
2 Source: Nielsen Media Research; the figure includes returning clients who had been off air min. for one year
3 Source: Nielsen Media Research; the figure includes returning clients after a period of min. five years off air
4 As reported by Paul Farhi in The Washington Post.
ACT Director General