Toppidrettsveka’s Aure Sprint last Friday was watched by some 451.000 viewers on NRK, national public television channel. That’s an absolutely whopping figure for the country with 4.2 million of adult population in 2020, with television viewership on decline everywhere in the world. And the new record for Toppidrettsveka.
“The sprint in Aure was the beginning of Toppidrettsveka back in 2005: 13 athletes and 10 volunteers with a total budget of some 9000 NOK or about 800 Euros”, says Harald Fladseth, the event organizer.
Factors that worked in favor of Aure: cancellation of the Olympics and coveted Friday prime-time slot in broadcast schedule ( but that was done on purpose by the organizers & NRK, clearly)
The three-leg competition in and around Trondheim is, along with Blinkfestivalen, a premier event of the summer season where the world’s best would normally gather . This year however, it was strictly Norwegians-only affair – and no usual spectators’ crowds/ parties due to COVID restrictions.
The discovery of the fact that local-stars-only events are that popular (Blink also had excellent figurs) will surely give all stakeholders a serious pause for thought: are international meet-ups that necessary to bring in the audiences? The World Cup, you just got an extra problem there….
Photo courtesy of Toppidrettsveka