NBC’s coverage of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games received 15.5 million primetime viewers, the network’s lowest audience since 1988.
That’s a drop from the 26.7 million who watched Rio 2016 and the 31.1 million who watched London 2012 on the NBC broadcast network and digital platforms, including Peacock streaming.
There was a significant time difference between the United States and Japan for this year’s Olympics, as well as the effect of Covid-19 and fewer streaming options compared to previous Olympics. Simone Biles’ absence has also been cited as a factor in the decline.
A record number of minutes of Tokyo 2020 programming was streamed on NBC’s social media platforms and digital platforms, according to the network. A record number of Peacock users used the platform in its first two weeks of operation.
NBC’s coverage of the Tokyo Olympics was watched by 150 million and more than 120 billion minutes of content were consumed across all platforms, according to Nielsen.
On Sunday night, the NFL’s Sunday Night Football (NFL) broadcast was the most-watched primetime broadcast of the 2020/21 season, according to Comcast.
“There is nothing more powerful in media than the 17 straight days of Olympics dominance. Despite being thrown a series of curveballs over the last 18 months, the power of the Olympics delivered to audiences across the various platforms of NBCU has proven itself unequaled,” said Pete Bevacqua, chairman of NBC Sports.
“The pandemic fundamentally altered virtually every aspect of these Games, but our team pivoted, and reimagined, in the midst of showcasing history-making performances across 41 sports. Once again, we have seen the unparalleled power that these Games have on media and our culture.”
A total of 36.4 million people tuned in to the BBC’s coverage of Tokyo 2020, which is lower than any of the previous three Summer Games. During Rio 2016, 45.2 million tuned in for the multi-sporting event, 51.9 million watched London 2012, and 37.5 million watched Beijing 2008. Five million people tuned in to watch the men’s 100-meter final.
Women’s 100-meter final drew 4.5 million viewers, while men’s pommel final drew 3.6 million and Bradly Sinden’s taekwondo final drew 3.4 million. A record-breaking 104 million requests were made to watch the Games online, surpassing Rio’s 74.4 million.
Lauren Williams winning a gold medal in taekwondo (2.5 million views) and Charlotte Dujardin winning her fifth Olympic medal as Team GB won bronze in the team dressage event were the most popular moments on the internet (2.4 million).
Tokyo 2020 news and analysis attracted a total of 27.5 million visitors to BBC Sport’s website, with 41.3 million online requests for highlights clips. BBC Radio 5 Live was heard by 1.7 million listeners on BBC Sounds.
In the words of BBC Sport director Barbara Slater, “we’re incredibly proud we’ve shed light on some of the most remarkable stories to come out of Tokyo 2020″.
BBC Sport’s Salford production teams and the power of sport to bring people together were lauded for delivering record-breaking Games in the face of a pandemic.
Eurosport India has secured rights to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, which begin on August 24th.
Eurosport, owned by Discovery, will be broadcasting a global multi-sport event in India for the first time in its history. In conjunction with the men’s and women’s archery competitions at Yumenoshima Park Archery Field, coverage will begin on August 27. On the Discovery+ app, the Eurosport feed will also be live, allowing fans to follow all the action from Tokyo.
This year’s Paralympics will feature the largest contingent of Indian athletes ever, with 54 athletes competing in nine different sports.