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Handball hits new heights: 45 million tune in to EHF EURO 2024  Main Round as event draws over one million fans

2 min read

Zug, Switzerland – The Men’s EHF EURO 2024 Main Round reached a live audience of over 45 million in key markets as the event concluded in Germany. A total of 5.27 million tuned in to watch the final on France's TF1 as the country claimed a first title in 10 years. They beat Denmark in the final with TV2 boasting broadcast ratings of almost 1.7 million.

Germany has consistently drawn a huge audience, with almost 9.7 million tuning in for its semi-final loss to Denmark on Friday. All the host's matches were broadcast on ZDF or ARD with the Main Round match against Hungary also boasting a live audience of 8.4 million. Elsewhere Denmark’s clash with Norway reached 1.47 million on TV2, almost 75% of market share

The data from Nielsen includes ratings from Croatia, Denmark, Germany, France, Hungary, Norway, Slovenia and Sweden. 

Infront, the exclusive media and marketing partner of the European Handball Federation (EHF), successfully secured over 30 broadcasters across more than 100 territories. The competition had already enjoyed broad exposure. In Germany over seven million fans watched the host’s preliminary round matches whilst Croatia's matches against Spain and Austria secured a 50% market share. In addition Denmark’s preliminary round matches consistently attracted over a million viewers, notably reaching a peak audience of 1.215 million and a 73.6% market share for the match against Portugal.

Julien Ternisien, Senior Vice President, Summer Sports, said: “The television ratings reflect an unprecedented viewership, driven by the performance in Germany. It underscores the universal appeal and growing stature of handball, marking a historic moment for the sport and setting the stage for its future trajectory.”

The event has also had a massive impact in Germany. Over one million have attended matches, with the final weekend sold out and Preliminary Round celebrating 98% capacity reached.

Digital activations helping brands engage with fans

The combined digital reach across all monitored channels associated with the EHF EURO 2024, including teams, players, sponsors and broadcast partners, soared to 400 million. In addition, combined number of interactions reached 18 million and EHF channels alone saw a growth of 115,000 followers, underscoring the growing digital footprint and fanbase of the sport. This provided a platform for brands to reach a broad audience.

The Match Predictor initiative, in collaboration with Gorenje, saw participation from over 11,000 unique users, tripling the engagement from the previous edition. The Player of the Match vote, in partnership with Grundfos, garnered substantial interaction, with more than 45,000 votes from over 10,000 unique users.

Sponsors also activated their partnerships in-venue. Deutsche Bahn used the event as a platform for sustainability, transporting all teams via their eco-friendly trains and offering tickets to fans.

Elsewhere, Lidl's involvement in outfitting and coordinating the “Lidl escort kids” across all matches improved the experience for future stars. The supermarket chain allowed handball clubs to apply to be part of the match build-up ahead of the event. 

Six brands also took advantage of virtual advertising on LED boards and floor stickers, offering a more tailored experience for companies targeting specific geographies.

An international showcase

The pan-European appeal of the tournament was highlighted by the diverse ticket sales, with 5,000 Faroese fans in Berlin and 9,000 Danish supporters in Hamburg showcasing the sport's expanding reach.

Michael Wiederer, EHF President, said: "The Men’s EHF EURO 2024 in Germany is the best ever in the championship’s history. The powerful combination of vibrant arena atmospheres with record-breaking spectator figures and millions at home following the matches, groundbreaking digital engagement and strong sponsorships has lifted the product ‘EHF EURO’ to the next level. The EHF, in collaboration with Infront, has set a new benchmark in how handball can captivate and engage on a global scale."

Ternisien added: “The Men’s EHF EURO 2024 represents a stride forward in our continuous effort to innovate and enhance the fan experience. The integration of traditional handball values with modern, digital strategies is redefining the benchmarks for future sporting events, proving the immense potential of strategic partnerships and innovative marketing in shaping the future of sports.”