NBC Beijing Olympics Prime-Time Viewers Sink 42% Vs. 2018, Down 26% From 2021 Games

NBCUniversal’s airing of the 2022 Beijing Olympics suffered a 42% decline in average prime-time viewers across its TV network and streaming platform versus the 2018 Winter Games.

Preliminary total audience delivery -- for the NBC Television Network, USA Network, CNBC and the streamer Peacock -- averaged 11.4 million viewers for the 18-day event, according to data from Nielsen and Adobe Analytics.

Four years before, NBC's TV networks had a collective 19.8 million average for its TV networks and digital media platforms for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

Looking specifically at the NBC Television Network, viewing for these Winter games is nearly half that of the 2018 event -- at 9.0 million prime-time viewers (17.8 million in 2018).

In addition, for this year’s event, NBCU’s USA Network cable network averaged 1.4 million prime-time viewers and 937,000 total day viewers from February 5-19, according to the company. 



In addition, NBC says its premium streaming platform Peacock delivered a prime-time average minute audience of 516,000 viewers -- the best results ever for a digital media platform.

Another NBCU cable network, CNBC, averaged 399,000 prime-time viewers from February 8-20, according to Television News Daily analysis of Nielsen data.

The 2022 Beijing Olympics numbers are also down 26% from the 17-day 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics -- which averaged 15.5 million prime-time viewers. In turn, those 2021 games were also down 42% versus the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics event.

Focusing on advertising metrics, NBCU says the two- and-a-half-week event generated 96 billion ad impressions and delivered 262% more ad impressions per commercial unit.

The games averaged a 22% lighter ad load than the other three broadcast networks combined, according to iSpot.tv, an NBC measurement partner.

Brands from 83 industries ran 603 unique ad messages during the Winter games. Overall this came to 16,119 advertising airings and 7,383 total minutes of advertising time.

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