Record numbers watch opening canoe world cups

Fans in record numbers tuned in to watch the opening two ICF Canoe Sprint World Cups on social media and on the Planet Canoe website.

The ICF provided several viewing options for canoeing fans, including live streaming on the website, on YouTube and Facebook. The viewers responded positively, tuning in to watch the world’s best athletes begin their campaign towards possible Olympic selection.

The ICF recorded almost 500,000 viewers over the two weekends at canoe sprint world cups in Poznan, Poland, and Duisburg, Germany. The figures do not include people who watched the events on Eurosport or the domestic television channels which carried coverage.

“We’ve worked incredibly hard to improve viewing options for the canoeing community, so it is reassuring to know the fans approve,” ICF digital media manager, Adam Collins, said.

“People want to be able to watch events at a time and place that suits them, so we have introduced that flexibility. We have also made it easier for people just to watch the races or the athletes they want to see.

“We have a very busy canoeing calendar this year, and we will continue to make changes and introduce new technology to build on this exciting start to the 2019 season.”

Statistics from Poznan and Duisburg show fans were eager to see the events as they unfolded, with more viewers tuning in for live coverage than watching in delay.

There were almost double the number of social media viewers for the Poznan and Duisburg world cups compared to the opening two canoe sprint world cups in 2018, held in Szeged, Hungary, and Duisburg.

The opening ICF canoe slalom world cup in Lee Valley, England, will be the next major event to be streamed on the Planet Canoe channels. The world cup begins on Friday, June 14.

The ICF will also host several world championships in 2019, in slalom, extreme slalom, sprint, paracanoe, marathon, ocean racing, wildwater, freestyle and stand up paddling. There will also be Olympic test events in Tokyo.

“Very few sports in the world offer the diversity which we have in canoeing,” Collins said.

“It provides us with unique challenges, but we also know how appreciative our fans are when they get to see high-quality competition on their phones, laptops and computers. The figures from the opening two weekends show we are on the right track, but the best is still to come.”

Go to canoeicf.com to find a full 2019 canoeing calendar and to find links to the Planet Canoe social media sites.

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