December 18 - Eurosport has claimed viewing figures for the opening six days of the 26th Winter Universiade here have tripled compared to the same period for the previous Games in Ezurum, Turkey, two years ago.
The figures represent the best-ever start to a Winter Games for the Pan-European broadcaster which is providing live and delayed coverage of the action at Trentino 2013 across two channels; Eurosport and Eurosport 2, as well as highlights packages and features on its website.
The firm claims that 13.9 million viewers have tuned in to its 31 hours of coverage of the first six days in Trentino compared to just four million for 15 hours of broadcast time at Ezurum 2011 over the same period.
Eurosport signed a six-year deal with the International Federation of University Sports (FISU) in September 2012 which covered the next six Universiades beginning with Kazan 2013 and Trentino 2013, and will cover summer editions at Gwangju 2015 and Taipei 2017, as well as the winter events in Granada 2015 and Almaty 2017.
It is also claimed that over 27 million Europeans tuned into 120 hours of Eurosport coverage from Kazan 2013, making it the largest ever television audience for a Summer Universiade.
"The audience figures achieved by Eurosport and Eurosport 2 for the 2013 Summer and Winter Universiades confirm the success of the multi-sport live programming strategy on our channels," said Eurosport Group's TV content director for broadcast and programmes Arnaud Simon.
"We give viewers live access to up to ten sports on all devices - TV, PC, tablet, mobile, connected TV - and significantly help the event to grow in awareness amongst sports fans."
Ice hockey is leading Eurosport's coverage from Trentino 2013 and it says it will broadcast over 80 hours of live action in total from the event across all sports.
FISU, which is acting as host broadcaster in Trentino, has broadcast deals in place with other television companies worldwide for the Universiade including Eurosport Asia-Pacific, CBS USA, RTR Russia, CCTV China, KBS Korea, KZTV Kazakhstan, Czech TV and RAI Sport Italy.
The governing body is also making a number of events available to view online through a dedicated streaming service.
Speaking to insidethegames, FISU President Claude-Louis Gallien said that it is essential for the future of Universiades that as much exposure as possible can be achieved through working with broadcasters such as Eurosport, adding that the consumption of sport is changing rapidly with the use of smartphones and mobile devices.
"There is no point in staging an event like the Universiade if nobody knows about it," Gallien told insidethegames.
"We took the risk to spend money and ensure a good broadcast.
"We have a good media department in FISU so we can cooperate and be right there.
"We've had a very good relationship with Eurosport and the result was good in Kazan.
"I believe Eurosport is interested in university sports, they think there is a future for it.
"So far us it was essential because we want to be well-known.
"I believe that we are now becoming well adapted to our population.
"They are changing quickly so we have to change with them."
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December 2013: FISU announces record number of broadcast hours for Trentino 2013 Universiade
December 2013: Trentino 2013 Winter Universiade to be streamed online
June 2013: Eurosport coverage to provide springboard for university sports, claim officials
April 2013: Eurosport to broadcast more than 120 hours of live action from Kazan 2013 Universiade
September 2012: Eurosport to show next six World University Games after signing deal with FISU