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Conviva: 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony Streaming Viewership Up 349%, TV Viewership Down

Despite a heightened geopolitical backdrop, including a U.S. diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics Feb. 3-20 to protest China’s human rights record, the Games are hit thus far on streaming video.

New data from Conviva found that streaming for the opening ceremony spiked 349% over 2018 opening ceremony — the massive growth in single-daytime spent streaming on the day of the 2022 Olympics opening ceremony as compared to 2018’s Pyeongchang opening ceremony in South Korea.

NBC Sports reported that it tracked 16 million viewers across broadcast and digital platforms, including Peacock. That’s down 43% from 23.8 million who tuned into the 2018 opening ceremony — when Peacock didn’t exist. The downward viewership trend mirrors a 36% drop for last summer’s delayed 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics opening ceremony compared with the 2016 opening ceremony.

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With Peacock launching in July 2020, and owner Comcast affording the streaming platform live access to every minute of the Beijing Games, over-the-top viewership has skyrocketed.

Coniva found that tablets got the gold medal at the opening ceremony — accounting for 28% user share to tie connected-TV devices. Additionally, 55% of viewers preferred watching the opening ceremony on Apple iPads.

Meanwhile, Twitter leads thus far in Olympics-related social media buzz, while Instagram leads engagement. Twitter led all social platforms in volume of content posted accounting for 37% share, while Instagram delivered the most engaged audience with 66 of all engagements for Olympic committee accounts in the week leading up to the Winter Olympics.

Social media engagement is up 370% for national Olympics accounts — official Olympic committee accounts from over 120 different countries tallied a 370% increase in engagements compared to the average for the previous six weeks.

Notably, Team USA highlighted the first Indigenous woman to play for USA Hockey in the top-performing Facebook post.

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