- NBC saw a 21% decline in the prime-time TV viewership of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games compared to the 2012 London Games.
- The household rating was 14.5, a 17% drop from the London Olympics' 17.5 rating — less than the high teens rating promised to advertisers, Adweek reports.
- However, there is a bright spot for NBC: The network’s live streams reached almost 50 million viewers — more than half of which was under 35 years old — totaling 3.4 billion streaming minutes across devices.
Although audiences for digital live streaming remain much smaller than TV audiences, new live streaming capabilities on digital devices are starting to eat into TV's mind share over consumers.
Live events have always been the domain of TV, but NBC's numbers show that is starting to shift — especially with younger demographics that are used to watching live video on their computers and mobile devices. The shift to more digital live streams may change how advertisers approach the Olympics going forward by putting more money into digital.
Social media platforms are starting to see the live streaming opportunity and are rolling out exclusive video content offerings to compete with traditional TV, such as live streams of NFL games on Twitter this fall and and mini-TV shows on Snapchat.
Even though the TV ratings overall were a disappointment, Adweek reports that NBC used all $1.26 billion of sold ad inventory over the 17 days of the event.