Featured, UIAA

Some excellent viewing statistics were achieved during the 2017 UIAA Ice Climbing season which concluded in Champagny-en-Vanoise, France in early February. The headline number being the estimated three million views for the video content produced during the campaign.

For the 2017 season the UIAA put in place a significant number of developments aimed at making it easier for fans to follow the action through a consistent, high-quality production plan distributed on a range of different channels. All five World Cup events and the crowning event of the season, the biennial World Championships, were livestreamed on YouTubeFacebook and Twitter.

Livestreaming from competition semi-finals and finals were additionally available through an immediate playback function allowing viewers who missed the live programme to catch up on the action at their leisure. Other firsts introduced included highlight clips of all of medal climbs, outtakes of key moments of competition and dedicated venue, athlete and ice climbing-related features, available as standalone content pieces and also ingested into the live programme. A further boost to coverage came courtesy of the 270 international athletes who took part in the 2017 season. Many produced their own behind the scenes content and shared the UIAA production.

As the pinnacle event in the calendar, the World Championships drew the biggest audience, in excess of half a million viewers. Figures were boosted by the livestreaming of both competition days being shared on numerous platforms, most significantly the IOC’s Olympic Channel and related Facebook page.

All six events were watched by an audience of at least a quarter of a million and five pieces of individual content drew viewing figures in excess of 100,000. Korean athlete Woonseon Shin’s gold medal climb in Durango became one of the most viral pieces of content of the year. Nearly half a million views alone.

QTV Sports were responsible for the video production and livestreaming of the 2017 season, supported in the event in Cheongsong by Mountain TV. Commentary came from Liam Lonsdale with expert co-commentary from various athletes including Ian Hanson and Kendra Stritch.

“We are delighted with the impressive viewing figures which exceeded our expectations,” explains the UIAA President Frits Vrijlandt. “It represents a continuation of the ascendancy of ice climbing over recent years. This year we have not only been able to cater more professionally and more consistently for our established audience but by exploring new channels and partnerships have drawn more people to the sport of ice climbing, notably through the Olympic Family. Perhaps most significant of all is the widespread range of countries to have tuned in, proving ice climbing, is, and will continue to become, a truly global sport. We take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in the 2017 season from organisers to partners to athletes and technical officials. Together we will keep striving to make progress.”

The 2017 UIAA Ice Climbing Season is partnered by The North Face Korea.

For further details about the UIAA and ice climbing please visit the dedicated webpages. Please click here.

Content Highlights – Videos

Below are some of our favourite memories from the 2017 season. Further video highlights are available on the UIAA YouTube and Facebook pages and pictures on the UIAA Flickr channel.

2017 UIAA Ice Climbing World Championships Highlights

2017 UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup. Season second-half highlights

Han Na Rai Song seals the World Cup season lead title in Rabenstein

An essential guide to ice climbing jargon

Vladimir Kartashev powers to speed gold in Saas Fee

World Cup mid-season highlights

Park HeeYong claims lead gold in his home event in Korea

Koshcheeva v Tolokonina: An epic women’s speed final in Beijing

Ireland’s Eimir McSwiggan podiums for the first time in Durango

Content Highlights – Pictures

Cover Image: Yannick Glatthard of Switzerland takes silver in the 2017 UIAA Ice Climbing World Championships