Questions keep coming. The main one: Is it worth it?
The Tokyo Games Opening Ceremony didn’t offer up anywhere near a moderately decent view of things -- down 36% versus five years ago for the Rio Olympics -- around 17 million viewers.
Olympics content this year has remained at the same level or lower through the following first five days.
The silver lining (but maybe less gold): There is far more streaming usage for the games.
More silver to consider -- NBC says Olympics ads are getting 61% higher attention index scores during prime time, with brand recall and “message memorability” up 39% and 31%, respectively.
Now, in the past, we might have just dismissed these trends and metrics -- especially for streaming. Streaming, while interesting, was no big deal.
But this is 2021 and streaming apps continue to gain strength -- now representing 25% of U.S. TV homes' viewing usage. Plus, TV networks have now ramped up their selling magic and sent out an alarm: Streaming’s time has come.
All the more reason that Nielsen, the main third-party measurer of national TV currency, needs to push harder to deliver that one measure of viewing across all media platforms.
We have heard loud and clear from major NBCU ad executives that Nielsen has been lacking in this area.
For its part, for the last few Olympics, NBCUniversal has compiled its own total audience viewer data -- across TV networks, time-shifted viewing, VOD, streaming, and other partnered video platforms.
Yes, this is self-cured internal data -- not a third party. But what choice does NBC have? The Olympics is a major TV network program expense -- delivering tons of content over roughly a two-week period.
Here’s more positive stuff: Even with the shocking decline to 15 million to 17 million prime-time viewers a night, that is nearly still 50% to 100% more than the top regularly scheduled non-sports prime-time broadcast shows.
Sure, the NFL can do that over a weekend for a number of games.
But what the NFL can’t do is get the breath of audience -- beyond mostly young male viewers -- to what TV has always promised: TV content that includes females and men young and old. You know it as "broadcasting."
No time to waste. The race has already begun.
Meet you at the finish line to give some high fives to the winners? Also note who is out of the medal hunt.