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48OLYMPIC REVIEW The global broadcast of Beijing 2008 proved to be an unprecedented success, with more coverage reach-ing more people in more regions than ever before, making it the biggest broadcast event in Olympic history. Although at the time of going to print broadcasting fig-ures are estimates – the Global IOC Broadcast report will be made available in December 2008 – it is clear viewing figure records were broken across the world, as footage of the Beijijng Games was made accessible to the largest potential audience ever, over 4.5 billion. Beijing 2008 was also the biggest broadcast operation in Olympic history, with Beijing Olympic Broadcasting ( BOB) producing more than 5,000 hours of live high-definition coverage for broadcasters in 220 territories over 16 days of competition. These broadcasters in turn made an estimated combined total broadcast output of Olympic coverage available to Olympic fans that was estimated at over three times that of Athens. FIRST FULLY DIGITAL GAMES Beijing 2008 was also the first Olympic Games in history to have full digital coverage freely available around the world. The mar-riage of digital media with television coverage made the Games more accessible than ever. Hundreds of millions of online view-ers followed and watched the Games on an exten-sive range of digital media platforms provided by the IOC and its rights- holding broadcast partners. In addition, the IOC launched an online Channel to broadcast the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in 78 territories across Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The channel received more than 21 million video views during the Games. ? THE BIGGEST BROADCASTEVENT INOLYMPICHISTORY AboveA record more than 5,000 hours of coverage was available to rights- holders