The 2022 Winter Olympics ended up being the least-watched Olympics ever for NBCUniversal – but there are still a few bright spots, especially on the streaming side of the equation, for the company in the context of smaller aggregate numbers.
The most important number is that the Olympics averaged 11.4 million viewers across all NBCU platforms during prime time. This is down 42% from the 19.8 million average for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea – in line with trends both from the earliest days of the game (and in fact, narrowing gap from four years ago ) and the overall decline in broadcast network ratings over the past four years.
NBCU’s coverage from Beijing is also down about 26% compared to the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, which averaged 15.5 million primetime viewers in the company’s “Total Audience” index ( combination of Nielsen ratings for TV metrics and Adobe Analytics for digital platforms). This figure is also on par with the declines from last summer and from the opening week of the Winter Olympics. (Each of the past three Olympics, for what it is, took place in East Asia, exhibiting similar time zone differences between the host cities and the United States. )
On the plus side, the streaming audience for Beijing is the largest or second largest for any Olympics to date, depending on the measurements. Streaming on Peacock, NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app had an average prime-hour viewership of 516,000, up 8% from the summer and an all-time high for any Olympics. in the age of streaming. The streaming feature accounts for about 4.5% of the game’s primetime audience.
US viewers watched 4.3 billion minutes of Olympic coverage in 18 days on social media channels and NBCU agents, the most of any Winter Olympics and after just 5.6 billion minutes in Tokyo last year. Sauna minutes are a 78% improvement over the 2018 Winter Olympics, and NBCU says Peacock has had “best 18-day usage” in the 19 months since its national debut. Peacock streamed every event from Beijing.
Mark Lazarus, President of NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, said: “The NBCUniversal presentation of the Beijing Olympics prevailed across all platforms and once again showed that nothing captivates Americans in 18 consecutive days and nights like the Olympic Games”. “The strength of the NBC broadcast network brings in large audiences every night, while USA Network registers the best two-week run of any sports and entertainment cable network. With subscriptions, usage and awareness soaring, Peacock is streaming every Olympic moment for the first time, and offers a vastly improved user experience from just six months ago. Throughout the game, we delivered what was promised to our advertising partners and brought unprecedented promotions to our company. “
The United States – the country that will make many of NBCU’s cable sports commitments after the NBCSN sports channel closes in late 2021 – has an average of 1.4 million viewers in prime time and 937,000 throughout. aired February 5-19. It was #1 among all sports and entertainment cable networks during that period. Excluding the Tokyo Olympics, the golden hour average is the best 15-day lap for the United States as of September 2018.
NBCUniversal also says the Olympics generated nearly 20 billion ad impressions for adults, according to figures from corporate measurement partner iSpot, more than three times the number of impressions per unit over the course of its lifetime. performance of the game compared to ABC, CBS and Fox combined.
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