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Survey: HKers sceptical about Paris Olympics’ ability to stimulate local economy

Survey: HKers sceptical about Paris Olympics’ ability to stimulate local economy

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Hongkongers are sceptical about the Paris Olympics’ ability to stimulate the local economy, according to social listening insights by Omnicom Media Group Hong Kong (OMG HK) between January to June 2024.

The survey found the time difference to be an issue, with several netizens questioning if malls and F&B establishments will remain open in the wee hours of the morning amidst the ongoing Olympic events in Paris.

There is also chatter around how the World Cup generates more viewership and foot traffic to bars compared to the Olympics. Some also said buying rights to the English Premier League would bring more economic benefits given its popularity, according to the findings. 

Meanwhile, some Hong Kong netizens remain mixed on whether the time difference will reduce interest in the Olympics. Some compared the Tokyo Olympics with Paris, explaining that it was easier to tune in to Tokyo’s sporting events due to a smaller time difference.

Nonetheless, other netizens pointed out the benefits of the time difference. Instead of missing out on the action while at work, Hongkongers can now catch the sporting events during dinner while they are ongoing in the afternoon in Paris.  

Despite some scepticism in viewing interest, there are netizens who view the purchase of Olympics broadcasting rights as an appropriate use of public funds. A few also said this is a more appealing option than having fireworks for citizens or spending money on unnecessary decorations. 

OMG HK's Video Content Viewing Landscape Q1 2024 report also found that viewing interest in the upcoming games are nearly on par between female (62%) and male audiences (60%). 

The high interest among female audiences is due to the availability of different sporting events at the games. That said, the gender audience ratio might still differ for specific sports. Data from free TV channels in Hong Kong show that the audience gender ratio is more balanced for sporting events involving volleyball and tennis, while football matches are mainly skewed towards a male audience, according to OMG. 

Viewing preferences of netizens

In terms of viewing platform, TVB, ViuTV, and YouTube are the top three preferred platforms for Hongkongers interested in the 2024 Paris Olympics to watch the live broadcast of the upcoming games. Those aged 45-59 surveyed by OMG HK prefer watching it on TVB, while 35-44 prefer ViuTV. Meanwhile, individuals aged 18-34 lean towards YouTube.   

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Overall, the viewing preference aligns with the general viewing habits of Hongkongers – mature audiences prefer TVB while middle-aged and the younger generation prefer ViuTV and YouTube, respectively. 

On the other hand, HOY TV was ranked fourth despite getting praised for its Olympics coverage during the Tokyo Games. In 2021, HOY TV received the most positive comments from netizens among the three free TV channels, with netizens saying the hosts were professional, well-prepared, and informative. However, the impact of this positive buzz remains to be seen when it comes to increasing consumers’ preference in watching HOY TV for Olympics coverage.  

OMG HK’s insights director Nicole Cheng, said, “Given that some games may start late at night, it is expected that consumers are less likely to stay out late at restaurants or with large groups of friends. Therefore, there is an impression that the Paris Olympics would hardly drive local businesses, especially those in the F&B industry.” 

“We should also not forget the business opportunities during breakfast. Those having to get up early for work after staying up to watch the games may need coffee or a big breakfast to energise themselves. F&B establishments or retailers could think about ways to help consumers recharge with various types of food and drinks,” Cheng added. 

While interest might not directly translate to actual viewership, Cheng explained that brands should not underestimate females’ interest in watching the Olympics or any other sporting programmes.  

“Brands advertising female-related products and services could consider Olympics or sports programming in their media planning,” she added.  

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