NEW YORK It comes as no surprise that the Beijing Summer Olympics ranked highest in audience size as well as event appeal, according to Optimedia's new report, "Content Power Ratings: Sports Edition."
The Olympics topped the Super Bowl, which came in at No. 2, with online giving the Games a healthy boost as well as offline word of mouth.
The report is partly designed to provide event sponsors, advertisers, networks and sports marketers with a tool to determine the exposure of these types of events across the various platforms, including television, online and mobile.
Greg Kahn, director of Optimedia's strategic resources group, said: "We are as interested in the broad appeal and engagement value of sporting events as we are in the size of the audiences being delivered for one particular telecast. The Content Power Ratings system allows advertisers and sponsors to assess the true commercial value of these important sports properties."
Other findings included the fact that four of the top 10 ranked sports events belonged to Major League Baseball.
Interestingly, despite only being available through pay-per-view, Wrestlemania, which ranked 15th, topped events like the National Basketball Association Western Conference play-offs, which came in at No. 18, and the U.S. Masters, which ranked No. 20. Wrestlemania's high performance, said Kahn, was driven by online page views, Internet video streaming, merchandising and by consumers who said they would make an extra effort to watch the event.
The Tour de France, which ranked 57th, according to TV ratings, came in at No. 27 in the Content Power Ratings report.
To measure engagement, the media agency conducted primary research and combined it with syndicated research. "Part of the primary research is we ask core consumers if they are aware of the event, how much of it do they watch, how do they rate the event, the percentage that say they would watch the event in the future, how many purchase merchandise around a sporting event, and then we basically try to measure it through syndicated sources of how much of the event was physically viewed," explained Kahn.
Content Power Ratings's Sports Edition added a new component: the streaming online video capability, which is becoming increasingly prevalent among viewers, said Kahn. Optimedia hired Divinity Metrics to measure it.