Games raise ratings for all three state media channels
According to AGB surveys for the first week of the Games, viewers are turning more and more to ERT, sending the state channels’s ratings soaring. Its weekly ratings guide showed the opening ceremony at the top of viewer preferences, particularly on ET-1, where it had a rating of 13.2 percent (percentage of total population) and a 40.5 percent share (of the viewing public), and on NET (rating 12.7 percent, viewer share 38.9 percent). On all three state channels – ET-1, NET and ET3 – at any given minute 2,431,000 people were watching, a rating of 26.3 percent. This latter figure does not include those watching the ceremony on screens in village squares, cafes and cinemas. These are high figures given that August is the «silly season» for television. Thursday’s replay of the ceremony prologued by its creator Dimitris Papaioannou, and without the accompanying commentary, was seen by 617,000 people between 11.34 p.m. and 1.51 a.m. (rating 6.7 percent, share 34.5 percent). Greece’s first medals, won on the first Monday of the Games during the synchronized diving event, kept 929,000 viewers glued to ET-1 (rating 10.1 percent, viewer share 36.6 percent) during the victory ceremony for Thomas Bimis and Nikos Siranidis. Earlier, Leonidas Sampanis’s attempt in the weightlifting was viewed by 868,000 people (9.4 and 40.3 percent) and another 715,000 watched the victory ceremony (7.7 and 29.5 percent). The next day, NET’s broadcast of the Greece-USA basketball game was seen by 1.02 million people, a rating of 11 percent (share of viewing public 39.1 percent). The replay of Ilias Iliadis’s victory ceremony after the judo event was seen on ET-1 by 758,000 viewers (8.2 percent and 42.9 percent). Lena Daniilidou’s struggle against Bulgaria’s Magdalena Maleeva drew 847,000 viewers to NET (9.2 and 29.9 percent). The Athens Olympics are drawing 2 percent more US viewers than the Sydney Games did, helped by the fact that NBC’s coverage is lasting 1,210 hours on seven channels, although the Washington Post attacked the coverage of the opening ceremony, claiming that only 25.4 million saw it. In Britain, 9.5 million people watched the ceremony on BBC1. According to the Guardian, the number was three times higher than for the Sydney Games (3.2 million). The International Olympic Committee forecasts the Athens Games will break all ratings records, with 3.9 billion viewers over 3.7 billion for Sydney.