A Final Four that started with the Euroleague setting new marks for its broadcast reach has ended by attracting record live television audiences, as well. More than a million viewers tuned into Sunday's title game, won by Regal FC Barcelona over Olympiacos Pireaus, in each of the finalists respective home countries, Spain and Greece. Those live audiences do not include delayed showings, re-runs or special news programs based on the event, and therefore represent just a fraction of the worldwide viewers in a record 197 countries where the Final Four was broadcast.
Sunday's final generated the biggest audience ever, 1.2 million viewers, on any specialty channel in Spain. That specialty channel, Teledeporte, also registered its biggest nighttime share ever, 6.5%, of the national audience in Spain. The Teledeporte numbers are even more impressive considering that in Catalonia, where Barcelona is the capital, broadcaster TV3 also attracted an average of 891,000 viewers during the Barcelona-Olympiacos game, good for a 26.9% audience share for that region. All told, the viewership in Spain topped 2 million total spectators.
Likewise, in the country of the other finalist, Greece, more than 1 million viewers - 1,044,041 to be exact - followed the entire title game on Skai, whose audience during the final peaked at 1,885,759 spectators! That viewership was good for a ratings share of 21.9%. Two nights earlier, for the Partizan-Olympiacos semifinal, the audience was 703,485 and the share 16.2%.
In the semifinals on Friday, Skai surpassed 700,000 viewers for Olympiacos vs. Partizan, good for a 16.2% share. TV3 boasted a 16.6% share based on its 255,000 viewers of Barcelona vs. CSKA. And Teledeporte averaged 410,000 spectators and a 3.68% share over both semifinal games on Friday.
"These live audience numbers prove - if any more proof was needed - that the Final Four has captured the imagination of not only basketball fans, but sports fans as a whole and even general viewers," Andrea Bassani, Euroleague Basketball's Director of TV, said. "The Final Four is not only competitive basketball, but competitive television, thanks to enhancements of the Final Four production in quality and contents since 2006 in Prague. We also see Euroleague Basketball becoming more competitive as television entertainment on a season-long basis, too."