CBC Scores with 2014 FIFA World Cup Broadcast
There is no doubt that the CBC is going through a rough patch. With a 10 per cent cut in federal funding, the loss of Hockey Night in Canada and the resulting announcement from CEO Hubert Lacroix of 1,500 job cuts over the next three years, our national broadcaster has had little to celebrate of late. That is until it secured the Canadian broadcasting rights to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which now that the numbers are in, appears to be a beacon of hope for the broadcaster.
Canadian viewership of the 2014 FIFA World Cup has exceeded all expectations, with a record 30 million Canadians, 98 per cent of this country’s population, tuning in to watch the tournament. In an interview with Marketing Magazine’s Chris Powell, Jim Kozak director of sales, Olympics and sports partnerships for CBC Revenue Group, announced that thanks to ad revenue from official sponsors like Coca-Cola, Adidas, Budweiser, Bell, and CIBC, the CBC reached its revenue targets for the tournament before the first game even began.
Heading into the tournament the CBC took full advantage of Canadians’ obsession with social media and mobile devices by creating a multi-platform broadcasting strategy which included television, radio, online streaming, a real-time Super Fan Map and even a CBC FIFA World Cup app which by the end of the tournament, was down loaded over a million times.
On Sunday’s final match between Germany and Argentina, 11.3 million Canadians tuned into the English language television broadcast, while a half a million watched via live stream. According to the CBC, with an average viewership of 4.9 million, the final match was watched by more Canadians than last year’s Grey Cup, the Winter Classic on Jan. 1 and every Stanley Cup playoff game!
Jeffrey Orridge, executive director, sports properties and general manager, hopes that the success of the 2014 FIFA World Cup broadcast is a sign the CBC is moving in the right direction, “Canadians continue to turn to CBC for the best in sports coverage, and the audience turnout we’ve experienced with this World Cup is a great sign heading into our upcoming slate of major international amateur athletic competitions.” Regardless of what the future holds for the CBC, there can be no doubt that it put everything it had behind creating an unique and interactive experience for Canadian soccer fans and will continue to set the standard for what it takes to be a successful sports broadcaster.