This year’s Eurovision Song Contest reached an audience of over two hundred million people for the very first time thanks to the events’ live television debuts in China and the USA, however these new markets have not been the audience gold mine that was expected.
In fact despite being a continuously stressed point by the European Broadcasting Union it now turns out that Logo TV, the American station broadcasting the event, only reached 52,000 viewers (or 0.02549%) of the viewership for the show worldwide. Logo TV a channel focused on the LGBT faced criticism due to both their commentary and an agreement which has seen Eurovision videos on YouTube geo-blocked in the United States.
If the United States’ viewing figures were poor, how did China contribute to this years contest? No official figures have been released by Hunan Television. In recent years the EBU has attempted to break Eurovision out of just Europe and take it to a global audience. From 2014–2015, Canadian LGBT broadcaster OUTtv broadcast the contest on delay, however that agreement appears to have ended with no broadcast taking place in 2016. Other markets that have broadcast the contest since 2010 but not competed as a country are:
- Faroe Islands (2011, 2014)
- Greenland (2011)
- Kosovo (2010, 2012, 2016)
- Kazakhstan (2010, 2012-2016)
- Kyrgyzstan (2012)
It is hard to tell whether the growth in international broadcasts in recent years have helped to push the contests viewing figures over that all important 200 million mark to 204 million this May in Stockholm, or whether it is simply a resurgence in interest from bigger markets in Europe.
It is worth mentioning that the viewership is not solely for the show’s grand final but all three events combined. The live viewership for May 14th’s broadcast was an audience of 63,000,000.