Thirteen days in, NBC’s average prime-time audience of 26.7 million viewers was incredibly high — more than triple the combined number of people watching ABC, CBS and Fox at that time. But it fell short of the network’s hopes.
The shortfall in expectations might have been that many viewers preferred to live stream or replay the games on other affiliated cable channels such as MSNBC or Bravo. But it may also have been the result of the nightly online streaming audience, which ranged from 250,000 to 500,000 viewers per night, according to NBC.
We looked at our U.S. adult viewership numbers from July and August to date, and our data has online viewership at nbcolympics.com frequently topping those reported numbers. Viewers were watching both live and on-demand coverage across all device types –including PCs, smartphones, and tablets. Viewers were also streaming from phone and tablet to TVs, using Google Chromecast and other similar services.
Just as interesting was the age distribution of viewers. Not surprisingly, viewership among the retired population was already quite high, but the number of viewers among other age groups also grew dramatically in August.