NBCUniversal’s 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics opening ceremony sank to a new Olympic linear TV viewing low -- 8.7 million prime-time viewers on Friday night, according to Nielsen’s preliminary fast affiliate measure.
This is down a massive 63% from the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics (23.7 million, fast affiliate measure) and 17% lower than last year’s opening ceremony for the Tokyo Summer Olympics (10.5 million, fast affiliate measure).
NBC aired the ceremony originally live early Friday morning, from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. ET.
NBC says that when adding in results from USA Network and all streaming platforms, including Peacock, over a full day of coverage (morning through prime time), viewership averaged 16 million viewers. This data -- which NBC calls Total Audience Delivery -- comes from Nielsen and Adobe Analytics.
Just looking at TV-only full day coverage, viewership averaged 14 million viewers.
The ad load on Friday night was 42% lower than the other broadcast networks in prime time, NBC says, delivering an average 17% higher impressions per ad unit, according to iSpot.tv.
On Thursday night -- before the Friday opening ceremony -- NBC in prime time averaged Nielsen-measured 7.8 million viewers.