TV viewership for the Rio Olympics is down quite a bit from London.
That’s the major headline of these Games, certainly the one that media buyers are most concerned about as they worry over whether NBC will hit ratings guarantees.
But a few years from now it may not be the lower ratings but rather the shift in viewing habits that’s the big takeaway from this Olympics.
The Rio Games are the first to take place since digital video became a part of the mainstream, with people watching live events like the Super Bowl online and streaming video on demand services such as Netflix and Amazon drawing good-sized audiences.
That’s translated into record web viewership for these Games.
Through Friday, NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app had streamed 2 billion minutes, including 1.67 billion live streams, according to NBCUniversal.
That’s better than the entire London Games. In fact, it tops the total for both the London and Sochi Olympics.
NBC has offered more streaming options than ever before—previously the network did not allow simultaneous live primetime streaming so as not to cannibalize TV coverage.
But the network decided it was a necessity in these times where people expect to get everything online.