Some Olympic Viewers Found Peacock, Most Might Keep Watching After The Games

NBCU put Olympic coverage on Peacock (Image credit: NBCUniversal)

A small but significant percentage of people who watched NBCUniversal’s Tokyo Olympics watched some of the coverage on Peacock, and most of them will continue to watch the streaming service, according to a new survey from Hub Entertainment Research.

About 12% of people who watched the Olympics said they watched on Peacock, according to Hub. Peacock only viewers accounted for 6% of all Olympic viewers and they accounted for almost 10% of NBCU’s total cumulative audience for the games.

Hub said that 75% of those who watched the Olympics on Peacock were already subscribers, with 25% saying they had never sampled Peacock before or were lapsed subscribers.

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Based on what it acknowledged was a small sample size, Hub said most of the Peacock Olympic viewers who were not current subscribers before the Olympics said they will continue to watch Peacock after the end of the games.

NBCU is counting on sports, including last season's Stanley Cup playoffs, WWE wrestling, soccer and NFL football to help boost Peacock. Peacock is also likely to get a big share of programming from the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics.

On its second quarter earnings call, Comcast disclosed that Peacock had gotten 54 million signups, and that the Olympics had help lift its monthly active users by 50% to 20 million. Peacock lost $363 million in the quarter on revenues of $122 million.

“NBCUniversal has a long history of using the Olympics as a media lab to experiment with new services, and this year was no different with their promotion of Peacock as an Olympic coverage destination,” said David Tice, senior consultant to Hub and co-author of the study. “The findings from our survey indicate this strategy brought NBCU new users to sample Peacock; perhaps just as important are our findings that those who watched on Peacock have a more positive attitude towards Olympic advertisers and sponsors. It appears to be a win-win for NBCU and its clients.”

The Hub survey found that 50% of Peacock Olympic viewers said they thought the commercials that aired during coverage added to their enjoyment of the games. That compares to 3% of all NBCU Olympic viewers.

Peacock viewers were more likely to say the ads they saw during the Games by a 71% to 55% margin compared to overall Olympic viewers.

Hub Entertainment Research’s Tokyo Olympics study surveyed 1,016 US consumers about their viewing of the Olympics as well as their attitudes towards the Games and its sponsors. The interviews were done between Aug. 4 and Aug. 8, 2021. The survey was funded by Hub, independent of NBCUniversal or any Olympic sponsor or organization. 

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.