TVNZ streams ahead as America’s Cup fever strikes viewers

Online streams are driving up viewership of the America’s Cup as big numbers view the racing.

On 8 September the number of streams was 13,818, but by the beginning of this week they’d exceeded 166,000.

TVNZ’s head of television Jeff Latch says the America’s Cup is the first major free to air sports even offered on PCs, mobile devices and television simultaneously.

“It’s interesting to see the different viewing patterns emerge from weekend to weekday. Multi-screening is more popular on work days,” says Latch. “People might start watching the races at home on TV and then pick up coverage when they’re on the move or clocked in at the office.”

Close to a million New Zealanders aged five-plus watched the race coverage on Sunday between 8:15am and 8:45am, with more than three quarters of the available audience watching TV One at the time, the broadcaster says.

The entire Sunday TV One Breakfast special that aired the day’s racing captured an average audience of 827,000 viewers aged five-plus, according to Nielsen.

The four hour Breakfast specials that aired during the week have ranged from average five-plus audiences of 280,500 for last Monday’s programme to 415,100 for last Friday’s, Nielsen figures show.

The performance of the Sunday America’s Cup Breakfast special stacks up well against that of other recent major sports events.

Last weekend’s rugby test between the All Blacks and the Springboks that aired between 7.30pm-9.30pm achieved an average audience of 512,300 for New Zealanders aged five-plus.

The Sunday special’s race coverage performance couldn’t top the 2011 Rugby World Cup match live between the All Blacks and Tonga, where the average five-plus audience topped one million.

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