Nearly half the population of Norway tuned into state broadcaster NRK on Sunday afternoon to watch live coverage of the 50-kilometer race for men at the Nordic World Ski Championships in Falun. The enormous viewership exceeded even NRK’s own expectations.
“It’s completely wild that we achieved such huge numbers,” Rune Haug, sports editor at NRK, told newspaper Dagsavisen. “This is way beyond what we expected.”
Ratings statistics showed that nearly 2 million TV viewers in Norway watched the 50K race, which was won by Norwegian skier Petter Northug. More listened to the live radio coverage, making the skiing world championships a huge success for NRK.
Haug said ratings were high throughout the 10 days of competition. Cross-country skiing and ski jumping does not command high ratings or even much attention at all in most other countries, but interest clearly remains strong in Norway. Haug said NRK’s coverage could claim an average market share of 92 percent on one of the days of competition last week.