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Lance Armstrong’s confession brings Oprah 800k online viewers

Almost a million people around the world tuned in to the online simulcast of Oprah Winfrey’s interview with disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong – a good performance but just a small fraction of the 28mn people who watched it globally on all platforms.

Across all airings, 12.2mn people watched the interview on Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) in the US, while 15mn tuned in internationally in 18 countries that are rated across Discovery Networks and OWN Canada, and 800,000 unique viewers tuned in to watch the interview stream online worldwide.

The programme was screened on 50 TV networks in over 190 countries, as it was simulcast across Canada, Western Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America on OWN Canada, Discovery Channel, TLC, DMAX and Home&Health.

In the interview, Armstrong admitted to having taken performance-enhancing drugs in all seven of the Tour de France races that he won during his career – after having bitterly refuted the allegations for a number of years, and suing many people in the process, including former team mates and ex-employees.

Editor’s view: These are strong viewing figures for the online video stream, and reflect the way many media companies and brands have identified online video as an effective way to reach the biggest possible worldwide audience for a one-off event.

This was demonstrated recently by the death-defying leap of Austrian Felix Baumgartner into the record books last October, which quickly became the biggest event streamed live on YouTube to date.

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