Kiwi viewers look forward to Rio with some concerns

By Wright Communications

New Colmar Brunton research into Kiwis' attitudes to the upcoming Rio Olympics has revealed our views on sending a team, our excitement levels, whether we'll be watching, what we'll be watching and how we'll tune in to the Games.

The good news for the likes of Sky TV is that 70% of Kiwis are definitely planning to watch at least some of the Games. But they're not getting too excited yet with just 35% describing themselves as excited about the upcoming Olympics and the rest neutral at best.

Ms Balbas says while most Kiwis say they will watch some of the Games almost half of those surveyed aren't convinced we should even send a team, given the current health and safety concerns surrounding Rio 2016.

Just 51% said New Zealand should send a team to Rio, with 20% opposed to our athletes attending and the remaining 29% unsure.

"Clearly the build up to the Games, with all the discussion and debate about Zika virus, crime, poverty and pollution in Rio, has had a big impact on what Kiwis think," Ms Balbas says. "There have been plenty of alarming stories and, based on these results, it appears the public see the 2012 Games as high risk for our athletes."

Those Kiwis who do tune into the Games say they will be motivated to do so by the love of their favourite Olympic sport, over and above their loyalty to Kiwis athletes.

More respondents indicated their reason for viewing specific sports was a genuine interest in the sport (49%), rather than because there is a New Zealander competing (43%), or because New Zealand has a chance of winning a medal (42%).

The most popular Olympic viewing options are athletics (54%), rowing / canoeing (49%), gymnastics (47%) swimming (41%) and cycling (29%).

Ms Balbas says generally these preferences are all sports in which the Olympics are seen as the pinnacle of competition, unlike golf or football which rated much lower with potential Kiwi viewers.

"Perhaps unsurprisingly, there was a clear gender difference in sport preference, with 44% of males opting to watch the rugby seven's compared to 28% of females, while gymnastics has a female viewing bias at 64%, compared to 30% of males. When it comes to age, almost four out of five of those aged 60 plus will be watching the Games, while those under 40 will be tuning in far less."

Television is by far the most preferred viewing option compared to online, with 40% planning to get their Olympic fix live on TV, 31% intending to catch the highlights as they screen on telly, while 15% will selectively record and watch via My Sky. Online viewers will be split between the 7% looking to find delayed coverage on the internet and the 5% who plan to log on for live streaming.

The survey was conducted online among a representative sample of 1000 people with a margin of error of + or - 3.1%.


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