Variety, Adweek

How Is NBC’s Olympics Coverage Doing in the Ratings?

Aug 8, 2016  •  Post A Comment

With the first full weekend of the Rio Olympics under its belt, NBC’s ratings results are best described as “mixed.”

“The first night of competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics crushed all primetime broadcast offerings Saturday night,” Variety notes. “But NBC’s coverage of the Rio games continues to lag far behind the turnout for the London games four years ago.”

NBC Sports announced that the network’s prime-time coverage Saturday averaged 20.7 million viewers from 8:30 p.m.-11:05 p.m. ET. “Over the first two nights the games have averaged 24.4 million viewers, making it second only to the London games,” Variety notes. “Viewership of the full-day Olympics menu on NBCSN, from 9 a.m. to midnight ET, was up 45% to 1.8 million.”

Adweek reports: “On night two of the Rio Olympics NBC was down 28% vs. night two of the 2012 London Games.” The report notes that Friday’s Opening Ceremony was also down.

“Household viewership for Friday night’s festivities [was] down 28 percent from the 2012 London Games opener,” Adweek reports. “There was also criticism on social media about the network’s decision to air and stream the ceremony on a one-hour delay.”

Variety adds: “Saturday’s broadcast numbers follow an opening ceremony Friday night that was the lowest rated for a Summer Olympics since the 1992 games in Atlanta. The Rio opening drew a 7.7 rating and 27.3 million viewers.”

olympics rio 2016


  1. What AdWeek and Variety and others are failing to include are all of the ways the games can be viewed this year. NBC has gone out of their way to provide access to the games in virtually any format one cares to watch the games.

  2. I wonder how much it costs to produce the games in addition to the rights? Will NBC/COMCAST make a profit?

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