Data: Peacock Earns Viewer, Marketer Gold at Tokyo Summer Olympics

NBCUniversal’s strategy placing key Olympic Games coverage on its Peacock streaming service appears to have paid off for both NBCUniversal and its advertisers, according to new data from Hub Entertainment Research.

According to a survey of 1,016 U.S. consumers ages 16 to74 conducted Aug. 4-8, about their viewing of the Olympics as well as their attitudes toward the games and its sponsors, 50% of Peacock Olympic viewers said they thought the commercials added to their enjoyment of the games, compared with just 36% of NBCUniversal Olympic viewers overall.

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Interestingly, 71% of respondents said ads shown during the Olympics were more interesting than what (55%) of NBC Olympic TV viewers felt.

Peacock also played an important role in upping NBCU’s Olympic audience numbers. Among Tokyo Olympic viewers, about 12% said they watched the Games on Peacock. Notably, Hub said Peacock-only viewers accounted for almost 10% of NBCU’s total cumulative audience. Peacock was also more popular in younger demos important to advertisers

Percentage of Olympic viewers on Peacock by age:

16-24

25-34

35-49

50-64

65-74

13%*

14%

15%

9%

6%

*To be read: 13% of Olympic viewers age 16-24 said they watched on Peacock

Base: Olympic viewers in each age category

 
Hub found that 75% of Peacock Olympic viewers were current subs; 25% had never used Peacock or were lapsed subscribers. Although not definitive due to a small sample size, of these Peacock Olympic viewers who were not current subscribers prior to the Olympics, most say they will continue to watch Peacock after the Olympics.

“NBCUniversal has a long history of using the Olympics as a media lab to experiment with new services, and this year was no different with their promotion of Peacock as an Olympic coverage destination,” David Tice, senior consultant to Hub and co-author of the study, said in a statement. “The findings from our survey indicate this strategy brought NBCU new users to sample Peacock; perhaps just as important are our findings that those who watched on Peacock have a more positive attitude towards Olympic advertisers and sponsors. It appears to be a win-win for NBCU and its clients.”

Data: Tokyo Olympics a Boon for Peacock App Downloads

While the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics was a ratings bummer for NBCUniversal, the quadrennial sporting event was a gold medalist for the media company’s Peacock streaming service.

New data from Sensor Tower reportedly found that the hybrid SVOD/AVOD platform generated 1.7 million new app downloads during the 17-day Games period from July 23 to Aug. 8. For the month of July, the Peacock app was downloaded 3 million times — up 81% from 2 million app downloads in the previous-year period. An app download does not necessarily translate into a paid subscription.

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By comparison, the Peacock app was downloaded 1.6 million times in June and April, respectively, and downloaded 1.3 million times in May. Last month, Comcast disclosed the platform had 54 million sign-ups through July 29 and 20 million paid subscribers through June 30.

Regardless of the traction, Peacock still lags significantly behind Netflix, Hulu and Disney+, which have 74 million, 38 million and 38 million North American subs, respectively.

Tokyo Olympics a Streaming, Broadcast Hit in Canada

The 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics may have been a relative ratings letdown in the United States compared to past Games, but north of the border, consumer interest remained high.

Spurred by the Canadian women’s soccer team’s penalty-kick gold medal win over Sweden, the 32nd Olympiad proved a ratings winner on broadcast, radio and streaming, according to official carrier CBC, Canada’s largest national public broadcaster.

A peak TV audience of 4.4 million watched live the women’s soccer team’s historic win, with an additional 725,000 live video views on digital platforms, making this Canada’s most-watched moment of Tokyo 2020. Canadians streamed 37 million video views on CBC digital platforms during Tokyo 2020, up 62% from the 2018 PyeongChang Games.

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Overall, 28 million television viewers — 74% of all Canadians — tuned in for coverage, with CBC ranking as the most-watched network in Canada for 17 consecutive days, delivering a 21.4% audience share. Canada finished 11th in the medals count with 24, including seven gold.

“Whether watching online, through apps, social media or on television, millions of viewers across the country tuned in and engaged with CBC’s coverage each day, demonstrating the continued relevance of the Olympic Games,” Chris Wilson, executive director of sports and Olympics for CBC, said in a statement.

Tokyo Olympics Lowest-Rated Games Ever Since NBC Acquired Rights

The delayed 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics proved to be a winner for Team USA, but not necessarily in the TV ratings competition. A day after the closing ceremony, NBCUniversal disclosed the Games averaged about 15.5 million primetime TV viewers over the course of 17-day broadcast period. The tally was 42% lower than the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics (26.7 million viewers) and 2012 London Olympics (31.1 million), and the lowest since NBC acquired the North American rights in 1988.

For NBCU, the ratings are not surprising considering the year-long delay of the 32nd Olympiad due to the pandemic, low approval among many Japanese for the quadrennial event to be held this year, and a general decline in broadcast television consumption. The media company reiterated that the games will be profitable despite the pandemic.

“When you look at the numbers in general and the impact that COVID has had on sports, we were prepared for these numbers,” Pete Bevacqua, chairman of NBC Sports, told The Wall Street Journal. “For better or worse, I really do believe the pandemic and postponement impacted these games.”

Separately, media measurement company TAD (Total Audience Delivery), reported that the ratings included streaming service Peacock, which featured the most Olympics events ever on an over-the-top video platform. When including streaming, top-rated days included Day 2 (July 25) with 20 million viewers; Day 6 (July 29) with 19.5 million, and Day 11 (July 27) with 17.4 million.

Discovery+ Delivers Streaming Gold at Tokyo Olympics

The opening week of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo saw record numbers visit Discovery’s digital platforms in Europe. Almost three-quarters of a billion streaming minutes of content has been consumed on Discovery+ and Eurosport Player during the first week, nearly 18 times more than by the same stage of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics in South Korea.

The Discovery+ subscription streaming video service launched in January this year, while the Eurosport Player bowed in 2008, with mobile versions debuting in 2011.

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While Comcast/NBCUniversal have exclusive rights to the games in North America, Discovery secured its first rights in 50 markets in Europe for $1.5 billion featuring 11 national productions and coverage in 19 languages.

With European viewers able to personalize their Olympics coverage, Discovery scored a large linear-TV audience share, underscoring widespread interest in the delayed Tokyo Games across the Nordic markets where Discovery is presenting the Games on its free-to-air networks. Shares as high as 78% in Norway (Handball, Spain vs. Norway); 67% in Sweden (Football, Sweden vs. Australia); and 60% in Sweden (Swimming) were recorded.

Discovery’s multi-platform distribution has generated more than 275 million European viewers of the Games so far. More than 100 million have watched through Discovery’s coverage on TV and digital, and an additional 175 million more have watched the Games through Discovery’s license agreements with free-to-air broadcasters around Europe.

Combined, this represents a 10% higher reach than PyeongChang 2018, with the average audience share of Discovery’s pay-TV channels improving by more than 30%.

“When we look back at the first week, it is clear the Olympics has brought new and different audiences to our platforms in impressive numbers,” Jean-Briac Perrette, CEO of Discovery International, said in a statement. “The Tokyo Games are seeing digital numbers never seen before, and we are thrilled that so many fans across Europe are watching the Games on discovery+ and Eurosport Player.”

Eurosport.com and its multiple local market versions have also seen record breaking daily audiences, with three times higher reach as the same stage of PyeongChang 2018. Interest in the Olympics delivered a record month for the website in July as 54 million unique users visited the platform.

“Whether through record digital engagement on Discovery’s platforms or large audience share on our networks, it is clear these games are having a big impact,” said Andrew Georgiou, president of sports for Discovery.

Netflix Sponsors NBC’s Tokyo Olympics Medals Count

With Team USA atop of the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics in total medals at the halfway point, Netflix, a perennial leader on most things subscription streaming video, took a marketing stand.

The streamer was a presenting sponsor on NBC’s Aug. 1 primetime TV broadcast of the medals count of the XXXII Olympiad with the U.S. leading with 61 medals, including 21 gold. The leading tally increased to 64 medals, including 22 gold, through Aug. 2.

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Netflix took the opportunity to market the Aug. 6 release of Vivo, an animated movie featuring songs from Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Tony, Grammy, and Pulitzer Prize-winning creator of Hamilton and In the Heights. Vivo follows kinkajou (a.k.a. a rainforest “honey bear,” voiced by Miranda), who spends his days playing music to the crowds in a lively square with his beloved owner Andrés (Buena Vista Social Club’s Juan de Marcos).

The movie, originally slated for theatrical launch in June, is part of a marketing/production agreement between Netflix and Sony Pictures Animation — the latter responsible for Oscar winner Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and this year’s The Mitchells vs. The Machines currently streaming on Netflix.

The partnership precludes Netflix’s recently announced deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) for exclusive first-pay-window licensing in the U.S. for theatrically released Sony feature films, beginning with the studio’s 2022 film slate.

Report: Tokyo Olympics Streaming, Social Engagement Skyrockets

Halfway through the first week of 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and TV ratings are down, but streaming views and social media engagement for the opening ceremony are through the roof, according to new data from Conviva.

Streaming spiked 279% over the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics opening ceremony in South Korea. Mobile phones and desktop computers tied for gold as portable devices and desktops each captured 27% of streaming viewing time.

Social media engagements skyrocketed 970% for national Olympics accounts as official Olympics national accounts posted significantly more content.

Interestingly, the Kazakhstan Olympic committee earned its nation the highest social engagement rate and most total engagements as well as top leaderboard rankings with the video. Through July 23, Team USA topped charts with the largest social following with nearly 7.3 million followers as of the opening ceremony, more than double the next-closest organization.

Runner-up national Olympic platforms included Brazil (Comitê Olímpico do Brasil) with 3 million, and British Olympic Association with 2.8 million followers.

USA Basketball’s welcome to Tokyo for superstar Zach LaVine was enough to net them both the most total engagements on Instagram and the most video views on Twitter of any Team USA opening ceremony social post, according to Conviva. Highest engagement rate went to the Olympic newcomers USA Skateboarding for their tweet showing off the team’s opening ceremony outfits.

Conviva said nearly 20% more viewers tuned in during the second hour than the average of the four-hour show, treated to a number of memorable moments.

Official accounts for national Olympics committees posted significantly more content on social media during the week that the Olympics kicked off, but they were rewarded even more handsomely in engagements. National accounts posted 466% more posts and 358% more videos across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube the week of Olympics opening ceremony as compared to weeks prior. In turn, engagements increased nearly 1,000% in the same time period.

NBCUniversal will release up-to-date Tokyo Olympics viewership metrics during Comcast’s fiscal call July 29.

Netflix, Disney+, Hulu Take on Peacock in Tokyo Olympics Ad Competition

On the first prime time competitions broadcast July 24 of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics on NBC, Netflix made a quiet entry into the TV commercial competition.

The 30-second spot highlighting original content aired during broadcast of Team USA’s first medals at the Games, when male and female swimmers snatched six medals, including the country’s first Gold by Chase Kalisz in the men’s 400-meter individual medley.

Disney+ and Hulu carried ad spots on the second primetime broadcast on July 25.

The price for a 30-second prime-time commercial at the Tokyo Games reportedly exceeds $1 million.

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The Netflix spot was the only SVOD promo to go up against NBCUniversal’s non-stop run of commercials for Peacock, the hybrid SVOD/AVOD platform launched a year ago. The Games NBC Sports host Mike Tirico shrewdly called out Peacock screen shots that viewers could toggle to watch ongoing competition in other sports (women’s softball) as well as VOD recaps of the men’s cycling road race.

Netflix ended the most-recent fiscal period with almost 210 million global subscribers. It also lost 430,000 net subs in North America.

NBCUniversal is pulling out the stops in an effort to jumpstart Peacock, which reported 42 million sign-ups through the first quarter (ended March 31), but reportedly just 10 million paying subscribers — suggesting the service needs an Olympian boost.

Peacock is featuring live coverage of some the Games’ biggest events, including gymnastics, track & field, and the U.S. Men’s Basketball Team’s pursuit of their fourth straight gold. In addition, Peacock will feature new daily live shows, original programming, Olympics channels and curated highlights of NBC Olympics’ coverage. All of Peacock’s Tokyo Olympics programming will be available to stream for free, with exception of USA Men’s Basketball live coverage that will only be available to Peacock Premium subscribers.

Regardless, the Games’ appeal to U.S. TV viewers could be declining. The network’s broadcast of the opening ceremony reportedly drew 16.7 million viewers, the smallest U.S. TV audience for the event in the past 33 years. At the same time, streaming viewership increased to 17 million across all digital platforms, including NBCOlympics.com.

Samba TV Bows Global TV Viewership Dashboard in Time for Tokyo Olympics

Samba TV July 23 announced the launch of its global Real-time TV Viewership Dashboard, an interactive TV analytics dashboard featuring geographic and demographic analysis of viewership in real-time across the world, starting with four of the largest media markets: the U.S., U.K., Germany and Australia.

Samba TV’s ACR technology, integrated at the chipset level across 24 smart-TV brands and addressable footprint of 46 million devices globally, identifies content that appears on the TV screen, including TV shows, commercials, movies, and video games.

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“The Olympics this year will underscore the importance of television and its unique ability to bring together billions of people in living rooms across the globe,” Samba TV co-founder/CEO Ashwin Navin. “TV data is critical for the media industry to understand the rapid changes in viewership behaviors pre-, mid-, and post-pandemic.”

Samba TV’s Real-time TV Viewership Dashboard will be put to the test during the delayed 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, and other large-scale media events. The platform allows advertisers the ability to see what channels and shows are being watched in their city or country within seconds. The dashboard leverages the company’s proprietary automatic content recognition (ACR) technology to provide in-the-moment insight into viewership across markets.

“Gone are the days of waiting days, weeks, or months for analysis of TV events that have already happened,” said Navin. “We are unlocking the power of real-time TV data and this first-of-its-kind solution raises the bar to make real-time insights available to everyone.”

NBCUniversal and Roku Partner for Tokyo Olympics Streaming

NBCUniversal and Roku July 20 announced a partnership to bring the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics to streamers on the Roku platform in the United States.

For the first time, Roku is creating direct access to NBCU’s 5,500 hours of streaming coverage of the Summer Games. Roku users will be able to access in-depth coverage of the Games via the NBC Sports or Peacock channels on Roku devices starting July 20 through August 8.

“As this is Peacock’s first Olympics, we saw a great opportunity to bring the games to life across the Roku platform,” Maggie McLean Suniewick, president of business development and partnerships for direct-to-consumer at NBCUniversal, said in a statement. “This experience on Roku makes NBC Olympics content unmissable for streamers.”

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NBCUniversal previously announced that it will present 7,000 hours of coverage of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics this summer across its multiple platforms.

“Streaming has fundamentally changed the way we come together for news, sports and entertainment today and nothing combines these moments together better and on a bigger scale than the Olympics,” said Tedd Cittadine, VP of content partnerships at Roku.

Specifically, Roku users will be offered a dedicated left-side menu on the home screen starting on July 20. The experience will be available on supported devices. Ahead of the Games, a countdown clock will track the time remaining to the Opening Ceremony and users will have access to free Olympics-related content, as well as a quick informational video on how to watch the Games on their Roku devices.

Once the Games begin, the countdown clock will be replaced with a medal tracker. Users will be able to stream free daily highlights, get access to live shows, condensed replays and highlights for free through Peacock. Users can watch live events through NBC Sports.