Growing the boating broadcast

Published on January 21st, 2019

Global TV sports producer and distributor Sunset+Vine has a long history with major sailing events which includes the Volvo Ocean Race, America’s Cup, and Olympic Games. They know better than most the struggle to build a broadcast audience for the sport.

However, they have confirmed record-breaking viewing figures for 2018 sailing content, as viewing figures for the leading international magazine TV program for the sport, The World Sailing Show and a general rise in broadcaster demand for sailing content throughout the year, are revealed.

During 2018, over 60 TV broadcasters in 200 territories took the monthly magazine series, a joint initiative between Sunset+Vine and the sport’s governing body World Sailing. Each 30-minute show covers a wide range of global racing activity from non-stop around the world racers to Olympic campaigns and grand prix series.

However, it’s the rise of the show’s appeal in the digital space which is giving cause for most confidence in the sport’s growing appeal. The online audience for The World Sailing Show on its YouTube platform, which Scuttlebutt promotes monthly, is regularly in excess of 200,000 per month. Since its launch in January 2016, there have been over 3.3million views.

“In just three years since entering the digital space, The World Sailing Show has achieved break-through status,” notes Sarsfield Brolly, Head of Media Partnerships at Sunset+Vine. “It has taken an upward trajectory that shows exponential growth – and few signs of slowing down. It is the only quality independent program worldwide that really delves into the sport of sailing with the quality editorial that truly differentiates, making it a unique offering.

“Our editorial decision to cover a wide range of carefully-curated and topical stories from foiling to superyachts, Olympic racing to around-the-world, has resonated with the sailing community and provides our shows with long-lasting appeal, enabling viewing figures for each episode to continue to grow over many months. The last three episodes have all broken 100,000 views with the most recent, January 2018 episode reaching 151,000 views in three weeks and still climbing.“

Whilst The World Sailing Show is the centerpiece of the YouTube channel, a second ingredient to its success is the popularity of content shelves, which have been created to provide viewers with specific destinations on the channel to discover and enjoy content covering such events as the America’s Cup, the Volvo Ocean Race and the 52 Super Series.

These content shelves have added to overall subscriber growth and Sunset+Vine has exciting plans to develop the shelf offer with long-form content and other compelling films and videos.

A summary of the key statistics is as follows:
• Total YouTube channel views (since first show January 2016): 3,383,287 views
• Throughout 2018: 202,460 hours / 1.78 million views
• Typical show viewing figures: 50,000+ per month
• Overall channel views: 260,000+ per month (current)
• Peak channel views: 300,000+ per month
• Biggest show: 213,851 views / Biggest shelf feature: 359,209 views
• Viewing devices: Computer (38%); TV (27%): Mobile Phone (19%): Tablet (14%); Other (2%)
• Top 10 territories 2018 (By viewers): USA (23%); Australia (7.0%); UK (7.3%); Canada (5.4%); Germany (5.3%); New Zealand (4.3%); France (4.0%); Netherlands (3.2%); Italy (3.1%) and Sweden (2.4%)

The new audience figures for The World Sailing Show come on the back of a huge year of sailing which saw the closest ever finish in the 45-year history of the Volvo Ocean Race and which also hosted the largest ever World Sailing Championships in Aarhus, Denmark. Sunset+Vine supported both events to achieve record success.

For the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-2018, Sunset+Vine provided the distribution of programming and news content which contributed to generating over 3,300 hours of television broadcasting, equating to €429 million in publicity value (+46% from the previous race). In addition, Sunset+Vine secured weekly distribution of digital stories on more than 70 digital channels and communities.

For Aarhus 2018 Hempel Sailing World Championships, Sunset+Vine secured fifty-nine (59) broadcasters to take a mix of live or highlights programming from the championship, making it the most successful to date.


Sunset+Vine has a long history with major sailing events.

This includes three Host Broadcaster and distribution appointments by the Volvo Ocean Race; the BBC’s sailing coverage for the Beijing, London and Rio Olympics; the provision of production services for the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda which included news distribution, UK live and highlights programming for BT Sport and the BBC.

Sunset+Vine has a strong relationship with World Sailing, the world governing body of the sport, being host broadcaster and distribution partner for Perth (2011), Santander (2014) and Aarhus (2018).

In addition, Sunset+Vine’s Media Partnerships division also distributes all news, digital and broadcast coverage of Sailing World Cup Series and the TP52 Super Series.

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