NBC knew the numbers would not be good, and they were right.
With less than four full days of Olympic coverage remaining, the ratings for NBC are even more disappointing than the U.S. Women’s Soccer team’s performance.
Here’s what it looks like for the Tokyo games.
Overall TV audience for the Summer Olympics: down 45% from Rio in 2016.
Primetime viewership for the Summer Olympics: down 51% from Rio in 2016.
That’s the really horrific news for NBC. The good news is people are still watching a lot of the coverage, but they are finding other ways to do it.
Their streaming service Peacock is doing well, and the network said that over 3 billion minutes of coverage has been viewed digitally.
But as for traditional television viewing of the Games, it’s just not happening like it used to.
The reasons are obvious. Social media, other entrainment options and streaming content is one big reason. So is the pandemic, and the one year delay of the Games and overall lack of excitement coming from Japan itself for this competition.
The pandemic has hurt for sure, with much talk leading up to the games being about whether they should even continue. And the fact there are no spectators in the stands makes the viewing experience far inferior to all other Olympic broadcasts.
Is it worth the investment for NBC? They paid $7.75 billion in 2014 to gain the rights to broadcast the Olympics through 2032.