Rio table tennis coverage reached over half a billion during the Olympic Games with 371 million Chinese tuning in

Over 550 million viewers for table tennis in Rio Games last summer

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 January, 2017, 1:13pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 January, 2017, 1:13pm

A stunning 552 million television viewers watched table tennis at the 2016 Rio Olympics when China dominated the event last summer.

Figures released by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), the world governing body, showed the two top markets were China and Japan, the two countries that also collected the highest number of medals among the 56 participating nations on duty in the Riocentro Pavilion 3 between August 6 and 17.

Television viewer numbers were also high in the United States, India and the host nation Brazil – three countries that did not appear on the medal podium.

China recorded an overall viewership of 372m with no fewer than 13.3m tuning in for the men’s team contest when they beat South Korea 3-0 in the semi-finals.

Meanwhile, in Japan the number of total viewers reached 27.8m with the figure for the United States at 24.9m.

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No doubt encouraged by the efforts of Hugo Calderano, the Brazilian player who surprisingly reached the men’s singles last 16 before losing to eventual bronze medal winner Jun Mizutani of Japan, the total number of viewers in Brazil reached 23.1m while India had 22m.

China won all four gold medals on offer and also two silver, with Japan claiming one silver and two bronze. The other silver went to Germany, who also claimed a bronze along with North Korea.

On a continental basis, Asia with China and Japan grasped some 433.1m viewers, for Europe the viewership reached 67m, whilst for Oceania some 4.1m followers tuned in, as did a recorded number of 100,000 in Africa.

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Overall a total of 471.4 hours of table tennis was broadcast, watched predominantly by viewers aged in the 30-49 years old age group with an equal split between genders. Some 13.5 per cent of international viewers watched a significant amount of table tennis.

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