All Eyes On Sochi – The Media’s View of the World’s Biggest Sporting Stage
By: Natalie Mikolich
After the first week of Sochi 2014, the 22nd Winter Olympic Games “Hot.Cool.Yours.” is on track to break the record for global broadcast viewership with 42,000 hours of coverage watched so far and nearly 60,000 hours when including the digital broadcast coverage (according to a recent article with Sports Business Daily). Set to be larger than any previous Winter Games coverage , it almost double the global broadcast viewership from the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics including a record in global engagement on the International Olympic Committee’s website (http://www.olympic.org/) with over 6.3 million visits after the first 10 days of the Games in Sochi.
For those responsible for providing viewers and fans with all of the up-to-the-minute Winter Olympics coverage online and via social media, Associated Press Reporter, Tim Reynolds, is giving us a closer look at things from the media’s view on the ground in Sochi as we head into the final stretch of the Games.
In our brief Q&A with Tim, he shares with us what kind of content they’ve been focused on delivering with so many events going on and fill us in on things taking place in Sochi that many of us might not know about who aren’t there (like two loads of laundry costing over $200!).
In addition to the usual medal predictions, Tim also tells us more about the not-so-usual long-term headline predictions for Sochi 2014, like “where were all of the fans who were NOT watching in the stands?”
For more with Tim, here is our Q&A with him while on the ground in Sochi:
What have been some of the surprising headlines through the first week of Sochi?
I’d say the struggles of U.S. speedskaters, for starters. I think an underplayed headline has been how extreme the extreme sports are here – Shaun White pulling out of an event, a Russian athlete breaking her spine in another. And I’m really surprised to see so many empty seats at so many events. Russians had to show up to make these Games seem like a home-nation victory and so far that hasn’t been happening.
What kinds of stories are you and other media reporters most focused on covering in Sochi?
I’m covering sliding sports – bobsled, skeleton and luge. We’ve tried to come up with a balance every day between features and news, trying to keep things fresh and with the time difference, keeping readers at home informed in a more complete way.
What have been some interesting things going on in Sochi that people watching on tv might not know?
The weather has been amazing, almost too amazing for a Winter Games. Russian food actually isn’t terrible. And the volunteers absolutely make or break an Olympics – and here, they have been fantastic. They appreciate our horrible attempts to speak Russian, and they know enough English to keep us sane.
What is in store for the second week of the Games and what do you predict some of the big headlines are?
For me, the last week is all about bobsledding. Luge and skeleton are done now. Medal predictions this week: Bobsled will do well, Canada will sweep in hockey, the Russians will struggle in some big events. Big long-term headline predictions: Where are the fans, and you’ll see the narrative start to turn toward what happens to this $51 billion area when we all leave next week.
Knicks at Heat on Feb. 27, and yes, I’m counting down the days until I get back to my normal life. Love the Olympics, always have, always will, but really looking forward to the last two months of the Heat regular-season – especially since getting a couple loads of laundry done at home won’t cost me $206.62 like it did here.