20 Mar 2017

A quite staggering 552,300,000; that was the number of viewers, the net reach of the table tennis events at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games staged from Saturday 6th to Wednesday 17th August.

Commissioned by the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations, the figures were issued recently by Iris, an independent research organisation.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor  

Notably, the top markets were quite understandably China and Japan, the two most successful nations on duty in Riocentro Pavilion 3 but also high on the list came the United States, India and the host country Brazil; all the countries whose players did not appear on the medal podium.

Surely that fact alone underlines the attraction of table tennis as an athletic, dynamic and dramatic sport; one that is easy to follow.

China recorded an overall viewership of 372,000,000 with no less than 13,300,000 being the number of unique viewers who tuned in for the Men’s Team semi-final contest when China played Korea Republic.

Meanwhile, in Japan the number of viewers reached 27,800,000 with the figure for the United States being 24,900,000. No doubt encouraged by the efforts of Hugo Calderano, the total in Brazil reached 23,100,000; for India 22,000,000 was the number.

Encouraging numbers in Pan America; it was the same in the other continents. Asia with China and Japan in its grasp totalled some 433,100,000 viewers, for Europe the viewership reached 67,000,000, whilst for Oceania some 4,100,000 ardent followers tuned in, as did a recorded number of 100,000 in Africa.

Overall a total of 471.4 hours of table tennis was broadcast, predominantly in the 30 years to 49 years age group with an equal split between genders. Impressively, some 13.5 per cent of international television viewers watched a significant amount of table tennis.

The figures are based on watching the sport in question for a minimum of five consecutive minutes.

Impressive figures for table tennis at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
Rio 2016

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