Record coverage and strong viewing figures boosted by extensive digital reach and engagement further contribute to the success of the Women’s EHF EURO 2018 in France
The European Handball Federation and Infront, the federation’s exclusive media and marketing partner for EHF EURO events, have confirmed that the Women’s EHF EURO 2018 reached one of the biggest global audiences yet across broadcast and digital channels.
Shown in 135 countries by 65 broadcasters, the event was by far the most-extensively broadcast Women’s EHF EURO of all-time, with a total of 2,749 hours of coverage, an increase of almost 40% on the previous EHF EURO held in Sweden in 2016.
With huge domestic interest in France and worldwide, the championship also succeeded in attracting a global cumulative TV audience of 696 million, a total audience bettered only at the Women’s EHF EURO in 2014.
The success of the French team in winning the EHF EURO 2018 title was the catalyst for record numbers of TV viewers in the host nation. The final match between France and Russia, shown on public broadcaster TF1, was seen by a peak TV audience of 8.2 million and an average of 5.4 million.
Fans also arrived in their droves to watch the matches live in the arenas. Almost 200,000 fans visited 47 matches at the venues in Paris, Nantes, Nancy, Brest and Montbéliard. The final match was watched by a record number of spectators as more than 14,000 spectators creating an electrifying atmosphere in the arena in Paris. The previous tournament record of 11,000 for the final was set in 2016 in Gothenburg.
Outstanding fan engagement
Thanks to an enhanced digital strategy developed jointly by the EHF and Infront, the championship broke new ground across digital channels, making it the most successful to date with a total reach of 77.4 million.
Over 20 million videos were viewed on the event’s digital and social channels including the federation’s own OTT platform, ehfTV.com - an increase of 43 per cent on the 2016 edition.
The event saw the first use of video content created by artificial intelligence, which allowed for the distribution of 1,889 videos not just to the EHF’s owned platforms but also to broadcasters, federations and other partners. In total, 2,375 pieces of content were produced during the championship resulting in almost 941,000 engagements, an increase of 80%.
The official EHF EURO website was complemented by the development of an official event app, which was downloaded more than 30,000 times.
Successful first ever EURO in France
Michael Wiederer, EHF President, said: “The hosting of the first EHF EURO in France – one of the strongest handball nations in Europe – was an important development for the EHF. The outstanding TV, digital and spectator numbers confirm not only the success of this event but also the quality and attractiveness of the women’s game at the top level.”
Julien Ternisien, Infront Vice President Summer Sports said: "We strongly believe in the importance of pursuing a digital strategy alongside the traditional mediums and the analysis of the EHF EURO 2018 is clear evidence that we are correct in doing so. We are delighted that by adding our expertise we have achieved extraordinary reach for the 2018 edition. These results add further value to the tournament in terms of sponsorship and branding."
Five countries to host 2020 editions of the EHF EURO
With less than one year to go, preparations have already started for the next EHF EURO events. Five countries will host men’s and women’s EHF EUROs in 2020.
From 9 to 26 January Sweden, Austria and Norway will host the men’s event, marking a new era for European handball as 24 teams compete for the first time. The Women’s EHF EURO is making a return to Norway and Denmark. The event will take place from 4 to 20 December.
The hosts for the 2022 editions are also known: Hungary and Slovakia will host the men’s event and the best women’s teams will compete in Slovenia, FYR Macedonia and Montenegro. Germany plays host in 2024 to the men’s event.