Eurovision still hot in the Nordic countries

Eurovision gets a 99 percent audience share in Iceland!

As the build-up to Eurovision intensifies, we thought we’d take another look at last year’s viewing figures especially since new data was released by the EBU at the recent 60th Anniversary Conference.

Below you can see a heat map showing the percentage of the available TV audience who watched the Grand Final of Eurovision 2014 in various European countries. It’s interactive – point at the country of your choice and you’ll see the viewer share for that country.

The figure for Iceland is pretty startling, and was confirmed by the EBU’s Media Intelligence Office Francesca Cimino at the recent 60th Anniversary Conference: 99% of the available TV audience watched Pollapönk’s “No Prejudice” come 15th in the final. This caused some raised eyebrows at the conference and a few wry tweets from the journalists at the event: (NB: Charles Gittins is an British-born Icelandic-based journalist who is known for his keen Eurovision coverage).

There are some other figures which are perhaps worthy of note: The rest of Scandinavia still hasn’t fallen out of love with the contest. Denmark’s particularly high score is partly due to the fact that it was the host nation, but is still not out of character with recent years.

Austria peaked at over half the available audience share, suggesting that either Conchita Wurst had created a lot of media buzz in the country prior to the show (the most likely option) or that more viewers tuned in to watch the country win as they got word that she was doing well in the televote (also possible).

The UK’s 42% is a reassuring score for the BBC, which shows that despite it being seen as the show Brits “love to hate”, someone out there still seems to enjoy it.

The Netherlands’ recent turnaround in fortunes (achieving top 5 placings in 2013 and 2014 after a run of terrible results) has been reflected in a whopping 65% audience share.

Didn’t qualify? Don’t bother watching the final.

We also see that, predictably enough, countries who failed to qualify for Saturday night tend not to watch in large numbers. Belgium and Portugal are good examples of this.

There is a very discernible north-south fade factor in the figures, which only seems to be bucked by Greece, where the contest pulled in more than half the audience for the big night.

It will be interesting to see whether 2015 sees any changes to these trends. Whatever happens, it looks like the world’s biggest entertainment TV show is going to remain popular for some time to come.



My first Eurovision memory is watching the nervous Doireann Ní Bhriain present the 1981 contest from Dublin where of course Bucks Fizz won. So yes, I'm no spring chicken.

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  1. […] we revealed the other day that 99% of the Icelandic available TV viewing audience watches the Eurovision final, we thought we really ought to find out more about the factors that could lead to such an amazing […]

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