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(Olympics) Over 300 mln likely watched PyeongChang opening ceremony on TV: IOC

All Headlines 14:05 February 20, 2018

By Chang Dong-woo

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea, Feb. 20 (Yonhap) -- More than 300 million people worldwide are estimated to have watched the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics on television, a senior International Olympic Committee (IOC) official said Tuesday.

"For the opening ceremony, we estimate that there will be over 300 million viewers who have watched some parts of the opening ceremony," Timo Lumme, managing director of IOC's television and marketing services, said at a press conference at the Olympic Main Press Centre in PyeongChang.

The Feb. 9 opening ceremony received praise around the world. Despite a relatively tight budget of 66.8 billion won (US$62.5 million), the opening event impressed viewers and the media, with high-tech set productions using hundreds of drones, figure star Kim Yu-na's dramatic cauldron lighting and the historic joint march by athletes of the two Koreas.

Lumme added that networks in South Korea, China and Japan carrying the Games have seen consistent increases in viewership. He noted that 10 million in South Korea watched the opening ceremony.

The IOC officials pointed out that speed skating events have achieved the highest viewership in South Korea and China among all competitions, while figure skating events have been the most popular for the Japanese audience.

In the United States, NBC's prime time Olympics coverage has exceeded the ratings of all major competitor networks, Lume said, noting that NBC's viewership often doubled the combined audience of its competitors.

This file photo shows fireworks over the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics on Feb. 9, 2018. (Yonhap)

odissy@yna.co.kr
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