Broadcasting across 176 territories, this year’s edition of the World Championships captivated audiences with a record-breaking 1,495 hours of airtime. The cumulative reach of the event stood at an impressive 1.134 billion people, while the audience totalled 526 million people, a remarkable increase of over 42% compared to the viewership of the World Championships in 2021.
During this historic event, SuperSport, the exclusive broadcaster for the Africa region, played a pivotal role in bringing the world-class table tennis action to African fans. They provided an ideal platform for viewers to support the African stars and witness unforgettable moments, including Omar Assar’s triumphant advancement to the quarterfinals—a momentous achievement for the continent. SuperSport’s coverage is a testament to the sport’s remarkable growth in the region and globally.
The milestones extended well beyond traditional media, as the event garnered overwhelming success across multiple social media channels. The digital strategy to create content tailored to diverse audiences on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Weibo, and YouTube was evident. Moreover, the ITTF and World Table Tennis provided fresh and distinctive content daily, showcasing both the action around the table and behind the scenes, resulting in a wider event reach and stronger connections between players and their fan base.
Social media also played a pivotal role in enhancing the event’s prominence, with Instagram posts receiving 86% more views than the 2021 ITTF World Championships Finals. YouTube content saw a substantial surge in popularity, recording 36% more views and an impressive 136% increase in watch hours. Additionally, the event experienced an 86% surge in interaction on Weibo, China’s flagship social networking site, further demonstrating its global appeal. The World Championships in Durban also left a remarkable digital footprint, as pageviews on the WTT website surpassed those recorded during the 2021 edition of the event.
Reflecting on this milestone, Steve Dainton, ITTF Group CEO, expressed immense pride and joy, stating, “The ITTF World Championships Finals Durban 2023 truly showcased the global growth of table tennis, with a special emphasis on its remarkable expansion in Africa. This historic event not only mesmerized over 1 billion viewers worldwide but also forged an enduring legacy for the sport within this vibrant continent. This unprecedented viewership is a resounding validation of ITTF’s unwavering commitment to fostering and developing the game on a global scale, ensuring that the joy of table tennis continues to reach and unite fans across the globe, with Africa playing a pivotal and integral role in this flourishing journey.”