NBCU Touts Digital Gains During Rio Games

Despite lower TV ratings, NBC Olympics said digital consumption of content tied to the Summer Games in Rio was lofty, particularly among millennials.

In addition to the heavy coverage on TV, nearly 50 million viewers streamed 3.4 billion minutes of NBC’s Rio coverage on the Web, mobile device and connected devices, with more than half of those viewers under the age of 35. NBC said 2.71 billion live minutes of Rio coverage was streamed, noting that the total was more than 1.2 billion minutes more than the live stream totals for all previous Olympics combined.  

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During the games, NBCU’s 11 linear networks presented more than 2,000 hours, and 4,500 hours of coverage streamed at NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app, which is being transitioned post-Rio to a new NBC Sports Scores app that offers personalized sports info and news from more than 25 leagues.

Additionally, more than two-third of the viewers of NBC Olympics’s highlights on platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat and Google/YouTube were under 35, which lead to “millions of referrals to NBC’s video coverage across all screens,” the programmer said.

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As for NBC’s primetime Olympics coverage, 382% as many adults 18-34 watched in that period (a rating of 5.3) than watched on the four broadcast networks (1.1 average rating), it added.

As for social platforms, NBC Olympics said 160 million users were reached with Rio content via Facebook, with nearly 70 million in the 18-34 age-range, while 131 million people had 916 million “interactions” via Instagram linked to the games.

About 33 million people on Snapchat consumed NBC-partnered coverage in the U.S. with most under age 35, and more than 1 billion minutes of Olympics content was watched on YouTube, with 70% of those views by people under 35, per “early estimates.”

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“‘Television’ is no longer just a piece of hardware propped up on a table or hanging on a wall. Rather, ‘television’ is now a video stream -- and in the case of the Olympics, a world-class NBC-produced video stream -- delivered to any screen capable of rendering it,” Gary Zenkel, president, NBC Olympics, said in a statement. “America’s Millennial audience is watching television across multiple screens, supplemented and fueled by their social engagement, which in the case of Rio 2016, reached new heights across multiple platforms.”

“Our research shows and the audience consumption proves that Millennials were highly interested, enthusiastic and engaged in the Rio Olympics,” added Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Sports Group.