TOKYO – Nearly a quarter of households in Tokyo and surrounding areas watched the opening ceremony of the Paralympics on television, an audience ratings firm said Wednesday.
Preliminary data by Video Research Ltd. showed that the average viewership in the Kanto region of the ceremony, aired live Tuesday partly on public broadcaster NHK’s main channel, was 23.8 percent.
“That’s really encouraging. So let’s hope that we can keep that momentum going and get more people watching the sports,” International Paralympic Committee spokesman Craig Spence said at a press briefing.
The ratings peak in the region was 26 percent, recorded in the part of the ceremony when Paralympic athletes from around 160 nations were entering the National Stadium.
In the Kansai region centering on Osaka in western Japan, the ratings for NHK’s live broadcast of the ceremony averaged 17.8 percent.
With a record 4,403 athletes, the Paralympics, consisting of 539 medal events across 22 sports, will run through Sept. 5.
As was the case with the Tokyo Olympics that closed earlier this month, the Paralympics will be mostly a TV-only event as organizers decided to stage competitions behind closed doors as part of measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.