The Story Of Summer: Olympic TV Advertising

It injects renewed life in the medium, with broadcast and cable spending up 40% or $1 billion, over the previous August. Biggest ad categories: Auto, telecom and entertainment.

Burke: NBC Made Olympics Profit Of $250M

NBCU snared more than $250 million in profit from its 17-day broadcast of the events from Rio de Janeiro, the company’s CEO Steve Burke said at an investor conference Wednesday, despite noticeable ratings shortfalls in viewing of the Games on its flagship broadcast outlet, NBC.

Olympic Athletes Score Big In Home Markets

Local TV market Olympic programming posted sharp gains — with hometown Olympic athletes grabbing even better results for their respective TV stations. For the entire Olympics, overall primetime household viewing grew 356% over regular-season July primetime programming for those stations with home market Olympics athletes. Non-home athlete Olympic stations rose 315%, looking at all metered markets.

How Rio Olympics Ratings Surprised NBC

Heading into the Summer Olympics, NBCU executives were bullish on ratings for Rio de Janeiro. With a host city just one hour ahead of the Eastern Time Zone and a mountain of data pointing toward heightened interest in the games, NBCU projected that Rio would outpace the 2012 London Games in viewership. It did not. Instead of a bulletproof success story, Rio delivered a complex portrait of the rapid changes affecting the TV business and of a viewership still hungry for Olympics coverage, but also for new ways to consume it.

Clinton Spent Big On Rio Olympics

Hillary for America, Democratic Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, has spent some big national TV dollars recently — on NBC’s Rio Olympics. More than half of Clinton’s 2016 total national TV budget so far has been spent on the Rio Games — $15.8 million, according to Since the first of the year, the Clinton campaign has spent $26.8 million in national TV advertising, with much of that starting July 1. Donald Trump for President, the Republican candidate’s presidential campaign, has yet to spend any national TV dollars

NBC Offers Makegoods As Games End Down

The network falls short on guarantees to advertisers, and ratings see especially big declines among adults 18-49. Adding in cable and streaming gives numbers a small bump.

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Charlotte Dead Last In U.S. For Olympics Viewing

Millennials Foul Up NBCU’s Olympics

NBCU saw broadcast viewership down 17% for the Summer Games with a 25% drop in 18-49s. Given NBC parent Comcast’s $12 billion bet on the Olympics, that’s a considerable hit. Gerry Smith looks at the millennial attrition and dynamics behind it, including an aging sports audience and a dilution of viewership concentration on NBC’s linear broadcast.

Rio Games Audience Falls To New Low

Broadcast, cable and digital combine for 22.1 million viewers, 1.4 million less than the previous low and plummeting 24% vs. London. No Phelps, no Biles, less interest.

NBC Crams Over 3,000 Promos Into Olympics

According to, NBC and its cable network siblings have aired no fewer than 3,066 in-house plugs during the first 12 days of Olympics coverage, a promotional blitz that includes 364 primetime spots. Teasers for programming on the broadcast network alone have aired 1,490 times, of which 231, or 16%, ran in primetime.

Olympics Spotlight Media Innovation

Kevin Anderson celebrates some of the more inventive media projects that have sprung from coverage of the 2016 Rio Games, such as the Fine Line interactive videos (and accompanying native ads) from The New York Times explaining how top U.S. athletes achieve their success. Innovative distribution deals with NBCUniversal/BuzzFeed and Facebook are also examined.

NBC Helps The Blind Watch The Olympics

For the first time in the U.S., NBC is airing the Olympics in primetime with additional narrators who simply report what’s happening on screen — a sort of closed captioning for the visually impaired.

More Ad Breaks In NBC’s Olympics

Seven days of Olympics coverage on NBC has averaged virtually the same advertising commercial time per hour versus the London Summer Olympics in 2012. But the number of actual commercial “breaks” is higher. Kantar Media says NBC has been running more breaks in the Olympics — the actual number of interruptions per hour -— versus NBC’s regular primetime programming. This comes to 7-8 breaks per hour for the Olympics versus 5-6 breaks per hour for NBC’s regular-season primetime shows.

Auto Advertisers Dominate Rio Spending

Automotive companies are dominating NBC’s Olympic TV coverage so far. Four of the top 10 Olympic spenders on NBCU’s NBC broadcast network and its cable networks are automotive through 10 days of the event, according to Overall, automotive companies have spent $132.9 million so far.

NBC’s Slumping Games: TV At A Crossroads

As the United States leads the Rio Olympics 2016 with the most medals of any country, NBC is struggling to win ratings gold this season as TV viewing habits and online consumption has become a game changer for the network.

Women Competitors Dominate NBC Prime

Through Saturday night, 58.5% of the competition time on NBC’s primetime Olympics telecasts involved women’s sports, with 41.5 percent devoted to men, according to research released Monday by three college professor

NBC Tech Backbone Setting Record In Rio

According to NBC Olympics’ VP Darryl Jefferson, the NBC Sports content management system is handling “six to eight times” the delivery of what the previous system accomplished at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Called The Highlights Factory, it is the backbone to NBC Olympics success, supplying all of the media assets required for everything from the main primetime show, the daytime television product, various VOD offerings, digital content destinations, and so much more.

Creative Ways Stations Skirt Olympics Rules

With broadcasters confined by restrictions on anything Olympics-related, some local newscasters are coming up with creative ways to show viewers what’s happening in Rio without running afoul of NBCUniversal, the IOC or its sponsors. Above, WGN Chicago anchor Pat Tomasulo.

VR Is OK At Olympics, But TV Is Still King

NBC, BBC and other Olympic networks around the world are offering the opening and closing ceremonies and selected events in VR, giving viewers a 360-degree perspective  that is, the ability to look up, down and all around  when they wear special headsets. It’s a first in Olympics broadcasting, and NBC itself admits that its more than 100 hours of VR coverage is experimental.

Behind The Scenes Of NBC’s Olympics

The Broadcast Operations Center is the NBC Sports Group’s sprawling headquarters during the Olympics. About half the size of a basketball court, it’s ringed with big-screen televisions whose screens are each divided into arrays with smaller picture feeds. The BOC is the nerve center of every broadcast that enters and leaves the building. Stand in one corner and look across the room, and you can see almost every televised sports event on the planet at once.

Cable, Digital Lift NBC’s Olympics Ratings

The 2016 Summer Games are lagging expectations, but an assist from cable and streaming may help keep NBC out of makegoods hell.

NBC Announcer Apologizes For Biles Tweet

NEW YORK (AP) — NBC announcer Al Trautwig said Monday he regrets tweeting that the adoptive mother and father of American gymnastics star Simone Biles were not her parents, a declaration that angered advocates for adoption. Trautwig had been scolded by a woman on Twitter for not referring to Ron and Nellie Biles as the […]

NBC App Draws Olympics Viewers’ Anger

Users are balking at NBC Sports’ app, which has been so buggy since a July 5 Rio Games reboot that it has required seven bug fixes, including random audio playing with video clips. Other complaints include the necessity of signing in with a cable provider to view content and a deluge of advertising, and more than 19,000 users have given the app a one-star rating in the App Store.

Clinton Spending Big On Olympics Ads

The Democratic presidential nominee is airing $13.6 million in campaign commercials during the Summer Games, seeking to reach the millions of television viewers who can’t skip past the commercials as they watch live coverage of the Olympics. She has the audience to herself, as Trump has yet to air his first paid TV ad of the general election campaign.

Rio Games Prompt Digital News Experiments

Joseph Lichterman looks at novel approaches to Olympics coverage via The New York Times (SMS updates and how-they-did-it interactives), The Washington Post (bots), The Guardian (push alerts including leaderboards, polls and quizzes) and The Wall Street Journal (an “Armchair Olympian” set of interactives). 

Olympics Ad Volume Down From 2012

Many consumers took to social media to complain about the frequent ad interruptions during the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics. But commercial time was actually down almost 19% from the 2012 London Olympics, indicating that viewers have grown less tolerant of advertising.


NBC Olympics Records 280% Increase In Digital

Mixed Olympics Results For NBC On Night 2

On night two of the Rio Olympics NBC was down 28% vs. night two of the 2012 London Games. The opening ceremony for the 2016 Rio Olympics disappointed — in terms of rating — for NBC. Household viewership for Friday night’s festivities were down 28% from the 2012 London Games opener. There was also criticism on social media about the network’s decision to air and stream the ceremony on a one-hour delay.


Olympics Takes NBCU Digital To A New Level

There  may be no better indication of broadcast television’s unfolding transition from baseband video to IP and the cloud than this year’s Olympics. This year, NBC is relying on Microsoft Azure Media Services cloud encoding and transcoding to serve live IP streams of events from Rio to various digital devices like smartphones, tablets and computers. That’s a massive undertaking.

NBC Hits Record $1.2B In Olympics Ad Sales

Seth Winter, EVP-advertising sales, NBC Sports Group says NBC has sold $1.2 billion in national advertising time, at a pace about 20% above the 2012 London Games, and is holding back inventory for additional sales. The network hit its internal target weeks in advance, and often that doesn’t happen until after the games start, if the target is reached, he said.


NBC Taps 2C Creative For Olympics Promo

How To Watch The Olympics Without A TV

NBC is making 4,500 hours of Olympics coverage available at and the NBC Sports app, starting with preliminary soccer events on Wednesday, two days before Friday’s formal start of the Olympics. The online coverage includes every single event live. Here’s how to watch the Olympics online, depending on the subscriptions you have.

NBC News Hopes To See Olympics Benefits

NBCUniversal is spending a mammoth $7.75 billion to broadcast the Olympics to U.S. consumers through 2032, but the mission of the company’s NBC Nightly News in Rio over the next few weeks won’t have much to do with guaranteeing return on investment.

NBC Stations Send 40-Person Team To Rio

The team — representing 19 U.S. markets served by the NBC-owned stations and Telemundo Station Group — is charged with delivering distinctively local stories that will run on various platforms during the 17-day event that kicks off on Aug. 5.

Mindshare: 3 In 4 Will Watch Olympics Live

Three in four Americans will watch the upcoming Summer Olympics, with the vast majority (88%) watching these games on TV, according to Mindshare North America. Around one in four (23%) say that they will watch the events live on PC/desktop and 43% of Olympics viewers would watch the Olympics on a virtual reality headset if they owned one.

IOC: Rio Olympics Preparations ‘Worst Ever’

Preparations for the 2016 Rio Olympics are the “worst” ever seen. That’s according to International Olympic Committee VP John Coates. He said the IOC has had to place special experts in Rio’s organising team to make sure the Games go ahead — something that’s never happened before.


8K Production Ready For Rio

NBC Recruits Digital Influencers For Olympics

NBC is turning to social influencers to corral TV-averse viewers to its upcoming Olympics coverage. It’s devoting a chunk of its marketing spending to two dozen digital stars with 120 million collective followers across all of social’s major platforms. The effort is being buttressed by its deal with BuzzFeed, which is producing content for a dedicated Olympics Snapchat channel for the network.

For Hispanics, Olympics Will Be About Soccer

Chucky Lozano headlines a Mexican team hoping to rebound after Copa America Centenario. A look at Hispanic coverage plans, athletes to watch and digital trends for the coming games.


Fujinon To Increase Rio Service Resources