ITTF World Championships Finals Durban reaches over one billion viewers

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BEIJING, July 28 (Xinhua) -- The 2023 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Table Tennis Championships Finals held in Durban, South Africa in May reached a global audience of over one billion people, the ITTF announced on Friday.

"The event not only highlighted the remarkable growth and development of table tennis worldwide, but also celebrated the sport's legacy in Africa. Significantly, Durban marked the first time in 84 years that the event was staged in the African continent, the last being in Cairo, Egypt in 1939," the ITTF said in a statement.

The world table tennis governing body said broadcasting across 176 countries and regions, this year's edition of the World Championships captivated audiences with a record-breaking 1,495 hours of airtime.

"The cumulative reach of the event stood at an impressive 1.134 billion people, while the audience totaled 526 million people, a remarkable increase of over 42 percent compared to the viewership of the World Championships in 2021," it said, adding that the milestones extended well beyond traditional media, as the event garnered overwhelming success across multiple social media channels.

"The ITTF World Championships Finals Durban 2023 truly showcased the global growth of table tennis, with a special emphasis on its remarkable expansion in Africa. This historic event not only mesmerized over one billion viewers worldwide, but also forged an enduring legacy for the sport within this vibrant continent," ITTF Group CEO Steve Dainton said.

"This unprecedented viewership is a resounding validation of ITTF's unwavering commitment to fostering and developing the game on a global scale, ensuring that the joy of table tennis continues to reach and unite fans across the globe, with Africa playing a pivotal and integral role in this flourishing journey," he added. Enditem

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