Some 3.6 billion people -- about half the world’s population of 7 billion -- will have watched at least one minute of the Rio Summer Olympics games, according to estimates from International Olympic Committee via a report from Reuters.
Although ratings have dipped in the U.S and Europe, TV ratings have climbed in other territories -- specifically in South America, where the games are being held in Rio, Brazil.
For the opening ceremonies, IOC estimates some 342 million people watched the start of the Rio Games -- about the same number as the opening ceremonies of the London Olympics. But this number is down significantly from the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which posted a record of more than one billion viewers.
In terms of overall coverage, IOC says TV networks have increased TV programming 25% versus 2012 -- totaling 125,000 hours. Digital video programming is now at 81,500 hours -- 2.5 times what was on offer in London.
The IOC says the overall fees that broadcast TV networks have paid for the Olympic games from 2013-2016 are up 7.1% -- over the previous four years -- to $4.1 billion.
In the U.S., NBC says it has totaled a record $1.2 billion in advertising revenue, with another $30 million in ad revenue since the games started.
With regard to NBC’s decline in TV ratings an IOC executive quoted by Reuters said: “People are just consuming the Games differently,” touting there is more streaming of content -- 2 billion minutes so far on NBC platforms -- for the Rio Games than the five previous Olympics combined.