To track the actual engagement level of Chinese audiences with Rio 2016, CTR on August 10 held a second round of online survey through its online survey platform iCTR.cn to track people’s behaviour. The survey, which collected 3,716 valid answers, showed some differences between what Chinese people thought they would do and what they actually did.
First of all, Chinese people are more interested in Rio 2016 than they initially thought they would. Thanks to the 11-hour time difference between China and Brazil, most games are held between 7:30 pm and 11 am the next day. Before the Olympics began, 57% said they would follow the Games. But once the Olympic cauldron was lighten and media filled with news from Rio, now 62% of respondents said they are now following it. The proportion of “following it closely” (17%) and “following it” (45%) are both higher than the first survey.
However, the actual viewership of the opening ceremony could be interpreted as lower than initially thought. Only 13% respondents said they watched the whole ceremony, which began at 7 am August 6 (Saturday) in China; 45% said they watched part of it, also lower than 53% in the first survey. “Neither watched live broadcasting or replay” accounted for 20% of all respondents, also higher than 13% who said “I would not watch it”. But it’s worth to mention that 16% of respondents in the first survey said “I’m not sure whether/how I would watch it”.
Secondly, the time difference has redefined what prime time is in China, at least during this period of time. When asked about during which hours they watched the live broadcast, the highest mention was “between 9 pm till mid-night” (32%), followed by traditional prime time “between 6:30 pm and 9 pm” (24%). Another 15% respondents mentioned “between mid-night and 2 am”. When asked to pick “the most frequent period for watching Rio 2016”, the order remained the same: 9 pm till mid-night (25%), 6:30 pm till 9 pm (16%) and mid-night till 2 am (9%).
* In both cases, 23% said they didn't watch any live broadcasting.
The two rounds of survey both confirmed that the most important trigger for Chinese audiences to watch Rio 2016 were “games with Chinese teams/athletes” and “sport events I like”. As the agenda goes, some sport events ticking these two boxes will be on TV at prime time in China, such as table tennis group matches (finals to start at 10 pm) and badminton matches (most finals to start at 7:30 pm and 11:30 pm). But some Chinese audiences’ favourite sports will happen in the wee hours of the morning, such as diving (single finals to start at 5 am) and gymnastics (single finals to start between 1 am and 3 am). Don’t know how many Chinese audiences will set up an alarm to watch these matches?
As for news sources of Rio 2016, the behaviour is in line with the plan: TV is the most important news source (52% planned vs 47% actual choice), followed by WeChat (31% vs 28%) and news app (19% vs 19%). Radio, Weibo, print media and news aggregator app are still very close because they were mentioned by 13% to 16% respondents, very identical to their performance in the pre-Games survey (14% to 16%).
Last but not the least, when people were asked how they talked about Rio 2016 on new media platforms, 45% respondents said “I didn’t say anything”. For those who actually said anything, the most mentioned format is “share WeChat subscription account article onto my Moments and add my comments” (17%). It showed that WeChat subscription accounts are an important but limited force in shaping public opinion. The second most mentioned format was “comment on friends’ posts on their Moments” (16%). People are equally likely to publish original Moments post and Weibo posts, both at 13% and tied as the third most mentioned format.