Olympics prove a TV hit

Simon Ammann's exploits attracted near-record viewing figures Keystone

Switzerland's successful start to the Winter Olympics has also proven a winner when it comes to television viewing figures.

This content was published on February 19, 2002 - 08:51

Releasing its first set of figures for the Salt Lake Games, the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) said its most popular Olympic broadcasts had attracted almost as many viewers as during the winter sport heydays of the mid-1980s.

Ammann main attraction

SBC, which owns swissinfo, said that Simon Ammann's first gold medal win had been the most watched event so far, attracting 1.32 million viewers in German-speaking parts of the country.

A further 1.28 million viewed the men's alpine skiing downhill race, while 1.04 million tuned in for Ammann's second gold medal triumph.

The figures suggest that Swiss interest in the Winter Olympics is higher than at any other time in the past 20 years.

Zurbriggen still on top

The all-time Swiss record viewing figure for a winter sport event is still the one recorded during the downhill race of the 1985 world championships in Bormio.

On that occasion more than 1.5 million Swiss were glued to their screens as Pirmin Zurbriggen and Peter Müller won respective gold and silver medals for the country.

The latest Winter Olympic figures even stand up well against the last two major international football championships with the 1998 World Cup final attracting 1.39 million television viewers and 1.33 million watching the 2000 European Championship final.

swissinfo with agencies

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