– There is a 31 percent reduction in hours of television broadcasting. Eurosport broadcast 1,100 hours less because they lost the rights to their northern branches to NENT – which does not cover the World Cup on a similar scale, writes Nielsen, which provided the report for FIS.
He said easily:
- No cross-country skiing World Cup has been broadcast on television in the past five years.
- Media interest in cross-country skiing has been no less in the past five years.
The numbers for last year’s season are about the same as they were in 2017/2018.
Nielsen, who wrote the report, believes that some of the falls can be explained by the fact that the previous two seasons had very good numbers:
– There is a 27 percent drop in cross-country skiers arriving. The biggest reason is that the numbers in Russia were unusual in the previous year. They explained that it had to do with the fact that Russian athletes had a great success when Norwegian athletes did not participate in the Tour de Ski and other World Cup races that season, while the war in Ukraine this season affected the numbers on Russian television.
In Norway, broadcast time for cross-country skiing on national television has been nearly halved, according to the report. the report. In 2021/2021, more than 211 hours were broadcast on Norwegian TV. This year the number was 117.
Eurosport’s international broadcast channels, measured by TV time, are still the largest cross-country skiing channels. The report states that they account for 66 percent of cross-country ski airtime.
– not good
Thérèse Juhaug has recognized the evolution, and believes it is important that athletes and others take action to secure the future of the sport.
– It’s not good. We have to accept that it is not as common as it used to be, and we have to accept the consequences and see what we can do in the future, explains the woman from Dalsepgda.
Gohaug has drawn criticism for the fact that women and men must now run the same distance in the World Cup, which leads, among other things, to women entering into longer races than before.
– This means that the difference will be greater, and it may not be interesting for TV viewers to watch. I don’t know if this is the way to go if we want to make cross-country skiing more exciting in the future and to build good environments for girls. I won’t be putting it up north and down until we try it out for the winter, but we’ll have to look at what could make cross-country skiing popular in the future too
– Fewer viewers
Norwegian cross country coach Hans Christian Stadheim with Justin Fingeroy led the Great Britain team for a number of years.
Read and share the report:
– It’s sad. Unfortunately, the trend is that there are fewer television viewers – this is what the report concluded in recent years.
– What do you think they come from?
– I think it shows in the first place that if cross-country skiing is to be attractive, we need athletes from several countries, I see from the report that large numbers of TV viewers come from large European countries, that they did not have athletes and profiles at the top , which affects the total quantity. Stadheim explains that those countries did not have profiles like Justyna Kowalczyk, Katerina Neumannova, and Pietro Piller Cottrer, to name a few.
There must be some heroes and villains in sports. Preferably in many countries, so it is possible to build around a play. Then it does not matter what distances the athletes have to cover.
Norway national team sprinter Hans Christer Holland supports this:
– When it comes to watching the numbers, cross-country skiing may be shown on several channels, but I think the profiles also have a lot to say. A few years ago, for example, we had Alex Harvey from Canada, Dario Colonna from Switzerland, and Marcus Hellner from Sweden. They were big profiles, and I think it will be important to highlight new profiles from several countries, Holland tells Dagbladet.
Want to have a discussion
Despite the fact that the numbers are not encouraging, Stadheim thinks it is positive to highlight them. He hopes that FIS and major companies can use it to secure numbers in the future:
– This report joins a trend in recent years, and FIS president Johan Elias himself has stated that we must look at how to distribute television rights and the whole process there. Stadheim explains that he wants a strategy very similar to biathlon (IBU).
– The place cross-country skiing was sent to is also a point. It’s good that FIS is having a discussion about its product. They do it wisely.
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