November 8 - This year's World Aquatics Championships in Barcelona were the most watched in the history of the event and reached a total worldwide television audience of almost 4.5 billion viewers, new figures published today revealed.
According to an independent report, made by the company Kantar Media and released today by the International Swimming Federation (FINA), the 16-day Championships reached a total of 4.487 billion television viewers.
This figure takes into account not only live coverage but delayed broadcasts - such as those shown on United States television - as well as highlight packages on news shows, replays and repeat airings.
This marks a significant improvement on the previous edition of the FINA World Championships, in 2011 in Shanghai, where a total of nearly 3.7 billion television viewers followed the event.
In Barcelona there was also a total of 5,156 hours of dedicated coverage - compared with 4,448 hours in Shanghai - while the competition was broadcast in 185 territories.
Although the Championships was missing several now retired stars of the sports, including 26- time world champion Michael Phelps, it was still considered huge success.
New stars were born, including the US pair of Missy Franklin and Katie Ledecky who collectively won 10 gold medals, as well as stars from the other sports on show in diving, open-water swimming, synchronised-swimming and water-polo.
"These impressive figures definitively improve the value and prestige of our main event, the FINA World Championships," said FINA President Julio C. Maglione.
"FINA and aquatics are definitively top players in the very competitive sport business market.
"These results are due to our superb stars and their outstanding performances, and to the great support received by our 203 national member federations around the world",