By Chelsea White on 23/07/15 at 2:10 pm
Recent broadcast figures demonstrate the continued growing demand to watch the sport of triathlon, as the ITU Mixed Relay World Championships and ITU World Triathlon Hamburg garnered top numbers. Taking 10% of the market share last weekend on German broadcaster ARD, more viewers tuned in for triathlon than the Tour de France.
“Not only is triathlon challenging to do, but it’s exciting to watch,” said ITU President and IOC Member Marisol Casado. “Our athletes swim, bike and run at the highest level all in one race. Their level of athleticism is unbelievable and people want to see them race. Both the individual races and Mixed Relay offer non stop action from lead changes to come from behind finishes to down to the line sprints that engage the public.”
At its peak, 1.49 million viewers tuned in for the Mixed Relay World Championships on the ARD Mediathek to watch the woman-man-woman-man relay in which each athlete competes in a mini triathlon. The figures further cement ITU’s ambition to include Mixed Relay on the Olympic programme.
A day earlier, 1.18 million viewers watched the Elite Men compete, while 1.06 million viewers watched the women’s races on ARD. Overall, both days attracted more viewership than the Tour de France on the network, which only had 1.12 million viewers on Saturday and 1.36 million viewers on Sunday.
Not only was the race successful on television, crowds came out in the hundreds of thousands to watch the elites compete with nearly 250,000 spectators lining up to cheer them on despite a rainy race on Sunday.
With the goal to add Mixed Relay to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic programme, ITU is committed to the continued development of the race and is proud of the success and attention that the sport has received so far.