Association of International Marathons and Distance Races

The home of world running™

Running news

06 January 2021, 3pm

Hakone Ekiden achieves record TV reach

Impressive viewing figures in Japan

by Brett Larner

The wholesale cancellation of mass marathon in Japan for the last few months appears to have piqued the appetite of the Japanese public to watch distance running events on TV.

To help reduce crowding along the course, as part of the effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, organisers of the flagship Hakone Ekiden encouraged people to “cheer from home.” This is thought to have resulted in more people than usual watching the TV broadcast.

Nippon TV’s two-day coverage recorded average ratings of 31.0% for the first day’s broadcast from 07:00–14.05 on 2 January and 33.7% for the second day from 07.00–14.18 on 3 January. Equivalent figures last year were 27.5% and 28.6%. The two-day average of 32.3% for the broadcast was the highest recorded since ratings were first monitored in 1987. The second day’s peak instantaneous viewership rating reached 41.8%.

According to Video Research’s measurements, nationwide a total of roughly 64.71 million people tuned in for some part of the two-day broadcast, approximately half the national population. Viewers 4 years or older who tuned in for at least one minute were counted in the estimate.


For further information on our partners, click on the logos above.

Distance Running

Official quarterly magazine of AIMS

Cover of 2023 Edition 3

Latest issue:
2023 Edition 3

Cover: French Riviera Marathon Nice-Cannes, France

Keep up to date!

For the latest race dates please consult the official online AIMS calendar.

You can also subscribe to the AIMS calendar in your calendaring application of choice, whether on your phone, tablet or computer. Simply subscribe to webcal:// in your calendar app.

the home of world running™

AIMS Headquarters | OACA Olympic Complex | Av Spyros Louis, Athens, Greece | © AIMS 2023