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Broadcasters in Canada Take to the Web for the Games

Digital media in Canada to receive big boost from coverage of Olympics

Viewers around the world are set to tune in to the 2012 Olympics, and digital media will play the largest role yet in how they watch the games. The same is true for Canada, where the Canada Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium (COBMC), a collection of traditional and digital media companies tapped to broadcast the games, has outlined a multiscreen strategy to take advantage of the growing importance of digital media in the country.

For evidence of digital’s broad reach in Canada, eMarketer’s latest digital stats for the country predict internet user penetration there will reach 77% by the end of 2012, on the basis of strong household broadband penetration (75%) and the increasing prevalence of consumers using mobile devices to access the web (48% of mobile users).

As a result of high internet penetration, the web has become a staple of consumers’ daily media activities. According to GroupM’s April 2012 report, “Interaction 2012,” consumers in Canada steadily increased the time they spent online per day from 1.16 hours in 2006 to 1.68 hours in 2012. This increase has come at the expense of traditional media like radio and print media, while time spent with TV has hovered around 4.3 hours over the period.

Presumably as a result of shifting media usage and record online engagement during the 2010 Vancouver Games, the COBMC is diversifying its coverage of the 2012 London Games. According to a June press release, the group plans on providing more than 5,500 total hours of video to cover this year's event. More than 2,000 hours are planned for TV coverage and 3,500 hours planned over digital channels, including CTVOlympics.ca and RDSOlympiques.ca. Digital is slated to include both PC and mobile coverage.

The majority of coverage will be in English, but a significant portion will also be available in French and in other languages, including Cantonese, Hindi, Mandarin, Portuguese and Urdu.

“We are committed to bringing Canadians a robust Olympic Games experience, whether on television or digital platforms,” said Adam Ashton, COBMC president, in a statement. “With 26 sports, plus a sizeable time difference and so many people on the go during the summer, it is important to provide Canadians with a choice on how, when and where they want to consume London 2012 content.”

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Check out today’s other articles, “Brands and Retailers Coordinate Online CPG Sales” and “P&G’s Digital Push Deepens Personal Touch for Olympics and Beyond.”

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