England and GB Hockey will be heartened by the strong TV viewing figures, obtained by The Hockey Paper, following the BBC’s decision to broadcast the recent FIH Olympic qualifiers in Valencia and Muscat.
BBC Sport took the broadcast feed on all GB men and women matches for their digital platforms following a three-way collaboration with the FIH and the BBC.
The Paris 2024 qualifiers were streamed 464,000 times across BBC iPlayer and on the BBC Sport website and app.
There was a peak of 65,400 streams for the Great Britain v New Zealand (men’s) and the same number for Great Britain v Canada (women’s), the BBC told THP.
Additionally, we understand that the final set of matches were in the top 30 most read stories on BBC Sport online, with the men’s match seeing 120,000 plus page views, while there were 70,000 clicks for the GB v NZ men’s semi-final and 67,000 for the GB women v Ireland play-off match.
However, this didn’t take into account the 15-minute metrics BBC counts for threshold numbers.
Nevertheless, the figures look strong as England Hockey aims for the sport to be screened more by the likes of the BBC.
The broadcaster had previously been offered the final of England men’s EuroHockey against the Dutch last summer, but time ran out on a deal being inked.
However, with those conversations, a free-to-air strategy came into play for the qualifiers in Valencia and Muscat.
The BBC has a 50,000 threshold of viewers when it comes to determining which sports to cover — for the EuroHockey in 2019, the BBC had a 25,000 threshold TV audience, but that figure had since doubled — which is one reason why the national governing body pushed fans to watch the qualifiers.