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Viewers enamored with ‘Eurovision’

122 million tune in to 'Song Contest' event

Some 122 million viewers tuned in to see Norway’s Alexander Rybak, singing “Fairytale,” win the “Eurovision Song Contest,” according to figures compiled by event organizer the European Broadcasting Union.

The 54th edition took place on May 12, 14 and 16 at the Olympiyski Indoor Arena in Moscow, where it was co-hosted by Channel One Russia and broadcast to 45 countries in Europe and beyond.

Audience share for the May 16 final was double the Saturday night primetime average in many countries, per the EBU, which represents the region’s pubcasters.

Average audience share across all countries was 43.1%, compared to the normal Saturday night average of 18.4%.

An increase in market share over 2008 was significant in a range of countries including France, Estonia and the Netherlands. Most other countries showed rising market shares over last year.

“Every year, millions of viewers from Iceland to Azerbaijan watch the ‘Eurovision Song Contest,’ ” said “Eurovision” TV director Bjorn Erichsen. “It is a rare example of a cultural event that brings people across the continent together to celebrate Europe’s diversity.”