The best results so far came from a one-minute long, overarching, sensitive-looking NBC promo touting new and old prime-time shows. It pulled in 362.9 million impressions, airing 309 times over the two-week period of the event, according to iSpot.tv.
The forthcoming drama “La Brea” -- 188 airings -- totaled 304.5 million impressions. Another newbie-to-come, a drama/fantasy called “Ordinary Joe” had 164 airings, amassing 241.1 million impressions.
Of course, the bottom line will always be whether the multibillion-dollar Olympics rights fee expense every other year makes money. Jeff Shell, CEO of NBCUniversal, has said the games were on track to be “profitable.”
But looking forward, we need to adjust how the Olympics are broadcast or streamed.
In the age of on-demand TV programming everywhere, viewers might expect to see a near-completed event from start to finish.
Instead, we still get a production scheme that cuts back and forth between events. (To be fair, there seemed to be somewhat less of it this time around.)
There is also the issue of reruns, tape-delays, and non-live airings due to usual Olympic time-zone differences.
Viewers only want to get the best parts of sport competition. And with so many sports continually added for the Olympics -- now 33 sports and 46 disciplines -- there is only so much room, even with more streaming and digital platforms.
The trouble is, there are many young viewers are still drifting away from linear TV. NBC witnessed a 43% drop in prime-time viewership to 15.5 million viewers? (At the same time, there was a significant amount of young-skewing skateboarding events.)
Still, younger viewers can expect more. In their on-demand TV-video world -- and viewers overall -- there needs to be a better format for programming discovery and exhibition.
The Olympics will face the same issue the NFL and prime-time programming has in the future: Where will the new viewers come from?