NBCU see huge 35% drop in Olympics Opening Ceremony ratings

Ross Houston
August 11, 2016

Olympics' exclusive and unprecedented multi-platform coverage of the 2016 Rio Olympics continues to dominate the competition. That's up nearly 10 million viewers from the night before - though still off 17 percent from the comparable night for years ago in London.

Front Row to Rio is the ultimate Olympics destination that will unite all of NBCUniversal's award-winning Olympics programming - including 1,000 hours of live coverage airing across 9 of NBCUniversal's broadcast and cable networks, 650 hours of on demand programming and 4,500 hours of NBC Sports app streaming content - all in one place. NBC will use "total audience delivery" to convince advertisers that they're reaching more viewers than the traditional Nielsen figures indicate.

NBC's Sunday night coverage from Rio averaged 29.7 million viewers, according to preliminary data.

Olympics cable ratings haven't been as big a boon for NBC as they were with the London Games in 2012. For the full Olympics, there have been a total of 647 million live streaming minutes, up 266% from the same time period in London - and the equivalent of three times the live streaming minutes of NBC's last Super Bowl (215.7 million).

The company didn't allow its cable affiliates and its website to compete with the London Olympics prime-time telecast, so there's no way to compare this year's "total audience delivery" figure with 2012.

CNBC averaged 846,000 viewers from 5-8 p.m. ET - its best ever Summer Games delivery in that time period.

In the evening-news contest, NBC's "Nightly News" held the top spot with 8 million viewers, followed by ABC's "World News Tonight" with 7.7 million. "It's over." - NBC volleyball announcer Paul Sunderland, toward the end of the USA women's match against Serbia on Wednesday.

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