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04.08.2007 11:24

Between 80 and 90 million viewers

David Saura

A television audience of between 80 and 90 million is expected to watch the game between FC Barcelona and Beijing Guoan on Sunday. It is a figure that dwarfs the average figure for games in Europe.

The encounter will be the only game against a European side that will be played in Beijing in the build-up to the Olympic Games in the Chinese capital next summer. The match will also be used as a commemoration of the forthcoming event, which begin on August 8, 2008.

Barça's first outing on the pre-season tour of the Far East will be shown live on CCTV's channel five, the Chinese public channel. According to the organisers the number of people who will tune in to see the action will number around 80 or 90 million.

Even more incredible is the fact that the channel does not cover the whole of China and only reaches about 400 million people, the majority of whom are among the more wealthy citizens.

Beijing Guoan are one of the pioneers of the Chinese League and can boast the largest following of any club in the country. The club are owned by Citic, a governmental industrial conglomerate, who are the second biggest in China.

Under construction

WEB_10.jpgThere are still some tickets available to buy for the game as not all 30.000 have yet been sold. The price of these tickets are higher than those for a Chinese League match, but watching one of Europe's biggest clubs live is a rare event in Beijing. It is expected that the last few seats will be snapped up in the hours leading up to kick off.

The original plan of the organisers was to hold the game in a larger arena, but the building work being carried for the Olympic Games made that impossible. The Workers' Stadium, where Beiing Guoan usually play, is undergoing work as it will hold the opening ceremony of the Olympics next summer.
Between 80 and 90 million viewers
Audi campaign
Audi are the main sponsors of the game between FC Barcelona and Beijing Guoan and for that reason they have asked the Blaugrana players to participate in a promotional exercise after training on Saturday to show off the new Audi A4 SLine. Ronaldinhho has been at the forefront of the event as he was asked to take a shot at a huge card, marked like a domino, that then fell over to reveal the logo of the latest Audi model.

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