Research by CMS Media has shown that a record 34 million people in China viewed in last August to watch the London 2012 Olympics table tennis finals. It has been said that table tennis is now China’s most watched sport and still on the rise.


Zhang Jike, the Men's Singles Gold medalist at the London 2012 Olympics - Photo by: GETTY IMAGES

Adham Sharara who is president of the ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation) commented “It seems to me that the Chinese population’s appetite for table tennis continues to increase”.

He also said “This of course is very good news for our sport in China and also for our sponsors that target the Chinese market”

Research found that the most viewed table tennis match of the year in China was last August in the London 2012 Olympic Games when China’s Zhang Jike who is currently the world number two met his team mate Wang Hao who is currently ranked world number four in the Men’s singles gold medal match. This fantastic match had a record of 34 million viewers tuned in.

This hardly comes as a surprise when the ITTF’s top-four ranked men’s players and top-four ranked women’s players all hail from China. Chinese players managed to win all four gold medals at London 2012 for the second consecutive Olympics.

The managing director of media and sports research at CSM Media Research Pierre Justo also commented saying, “Once again table tennis has managed to attract strong audiences across all the channels that aired its competitions in 2012, be it the World Tour, the World Championships, the World Cup or the Olympics and local competitions”

Interestingly the report also states that there was a total of 1,856 hours of table tennis broadcast across all channels in China, and more than 357 hours on leading sports channel CCTV-5 alone.

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Written by: Emily Standing