Terrible TV Ratings Leave NBC, Advertisers Worried: Report

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by Harry Wilmerding


NBC Universal and its advertisers are becoming worried about the success of Olympic broadcasting as TV ratings plunge and star athletes struggle, Variety reported on Tuesday.

Low TV viewing numbers and early exits from star athletes like Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka have caused anxiety from Olympic advertisers, Variety reported.

Despite beating competitors’ nightly program views, the Olympics are “clearly not what NBC, our agency or our clients were looking for,” an unnamed media buying executive told Variety.

The “disappointing” dip in views is due to a lack of athlete storylines, absence of spectators and early morning coverage through streaming, according to the executive.

Roughly 17 million viewers tuned in for Friday’s opening ceremony, which is down 36% from the 2016 Rio Olympic numbers, according to Nielsen, Variety reported.

While primetime broadcast numbers have increased since the opening ceremony, advertisers, who have spent more that $1.2 billion on the games, are concerned about the sharp decline in views compared to the 2016 Rio Games, Variety reported.

While Olympic viewership is down significantly, streaming activity on the NBC platform actually increased, Variety reported. Viewers have streamed 735 minutes of the Tokyo Olympics which is up 25% from the Rio Games and 41% from the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games.

NBC has encouraged advertisers to focus on end result data over short term dips in viewership, as popular events have yet to start and additional star athletes have yet to compete, Variety reported.

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Harry Wilmerding is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.




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5 Thoughts to “Terrible TV Ratings Leave NBC, Advertisers Worried: Report”

  1. EdC

    The most telling factor is, that NBC has no idea why.

  2. Teddy

    Could it be that the viewers are tired of our athletes disrespecting the USA?

  3. Dr Ken

    There is clearly a disconnection by the people from the Olympics. I, like many, grew fatigued then frustrated with the athletes who co-opted the forum to trumpet their political or sexual orientation view points. I truly believe the athletes “bit the hand that feeds them”. I was pleased when Canada defeated the US Women’s soccer team, never had I previously not pulled for the American entry regardless of sport. NBC is learning a lesson that people are tired of the woke movement. Yesterday the NBA suffered contrary to their claims of increased viewership. Today, the Olympics suffered, I suspect the same to happen in the NFL and MLB. NBC ought to revisit what they are willing to pay for sport event telecasting rights given viewership is on the decline.

  4. David Longfellow

    Get woke, go broke.

  5. Steve Allen

    Is it any wonder? I watch the NBC evening national news after the local news while preparing dinner. It is absolutely nothing but fear mongering and leftist political propaganda. As to the Olympics, there once was a time when sports were about sporting competition. Now sporting events have turned into wokefests with participants disrespecting our flag and nation. Competitive sports and hollywood seem to think they can decide what Americans should believe. Well, I’ve got news for them, we’ll just turn you off.