Rio Ratings Roundup: Usain Bolt, Justin Rose Drive Big Sunday Audience for NBC, Golf Channel

Viewership for NBC’s Sunday night broadcast featuring Usain Bolt’s historic victory in the 100 meters, peaked at 34.9 million between 9:15-9:30 p.m. ET/PT, as Bolt sprinted to his third-consecutive 100-meter Olympic gold. Sunday’s primetime Rio Olympics coverage posted a Total Audience Delivery (which accounts for average minute viewing across broadcast, cable, and digital) average of 28.1 million viewers with a 15.8 household rating. Bolt’s sprint topped the previous night’s peak of 32.7 million for Michael Phelps‘ final Olympic race. 

The Olympic rings are a ubiquitous site at the various Olympic venues in Rio.

The Olympic rings are a ubiquitous site at the various Olympic venues in Rio.

Monday Night’s Numbers 
NBC’s Monday primetime Rio Olympics broadcast was the most-watched show of the night – marking the 50th consecutive night that an NBC Olympic presentation has topped primetime (beginning with Day 14 of the 2010 Vancouver Games). Monday’s primetime Rio Olympics coverage posted a Total Audience Delivery average of 25.5 million viewers with a 14.9 household rating.

Last night’s NBC-only Rio Olympics coverage (8-11 p.m. ET/PT) averaged 24.3 million viewers and posted a 14.1/24 household rating, according to national data from The Nielsen Company.

Also in primetime on Monday, NBCSN’s live Olympic competition coverage averaged 948,000 viewers.

The top five metered markets NBC’s Monday primetime telecast were Salt Lake City (20.6/39), Austin (19.9/34), Denver (19.6/37), St. Louis (19.4/30), and Minneapolis (18.3/33).

Sunday Night Ratings Big, But Down From London 2012
Sunday night’s NBC-only Rio Olympics coverage (7-11 p.m. ET/PT) averaged 26.7 million viewers and posted a 14.9/27 household rating. Those numbers are down 15% in ratings and viewership from London in 2012 (17.5, 31.3M) and down 7% and 2%, respectively, from Beijing in 2008 (16.0, 27.2M). Versus the same night of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, ratings jumped 23% and viewership 26% from a 12.1 and 21.3 million.The 14.9 rating is the lowest for the middle Sunday of the Summer Olympics since at least 1984, falling below the previous mark of 15.8 for Athens in 2004. (SMW)

Also in primetime on Sunday, NBCSN’s live Olympic competition coverage averaged 1.02 million viewers, while Bravo’s live coverage of Andy Murray’s victory in the men’s tennis gold-medal match (7-8:30 p.m.) averaged 929,000 viewers.

Golf Returns to Olympic Stage
NBC and Golf Channel both provided coverage of the dramatic closing holes of the men’s Olympic golf tournament (1:12-2:49 p.m.). Aside from the final round of the Masters, this ranks as the highest-rated 90-minute window of final round golf coverage in 2016 with a combined 5.6 household rating and 8.8 million average viewers. Additionally, streaming of the men’s competition ranks second to The Open in every metric for NBC Sports’ golf events on record, including Live starts: 873,025, Live minutes: 27,463,315, Uniques: 483,616 and Visits: 692,472.

Afternoon coverage on Golf Channel (Noon-3:12 p.m. ET) earned a 1.02 household rating with 1.6 million viewers, marking the best performance in the time period for total viewers and Adults 25-54 (495,000) since the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am featuring Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson in February of 2012. Golf Channel coverage peaked at a 1.22 household rating and 1.845 million viewers (2:30-2:45 p.m.). Early coverage (6 a.m.-Noon) is Golf Channel’s best performance in the time period in more than eight years since the Dubai Desert Classic won by Woods in February 2008 for both total viewers (556,000) and Adults 25-54 (174,000).

Olympics Odds and Ends
Through Monday, NBC Olympics’ live streaming for Rio 2016 has reached two billion live streaming minutes for the first time in history. That total tops by more than 500 million minutes the combined total of ALL prior Olympics.

After 11 days, the NBC-only average primetime viewership (27.5 million viewers) and household rating (15.3) have respective 272% and 212% advantages over ABC, CBS and FOX combined – the second-largest Games advantage on record (behind only the London Olympics).

Among Adults 18-49, NBC’s 11-night 7.9 primetime rating in the demographic is nearly five times greater than the other broadcast networks combined (1.6 on ABC, CBS and FOX) – the largest advantage in the first 11 days of any Olympics (on record).

NBCSN’s Arsenal-Liverpool match averaged 745,000 viewers – marking the most-watched Premier League opening weekend match ever on U.S. cable television. In addition, the match is the third-most streamed Premier League match ever with 6.8 million live minutes.

Telemundo averaged 494,000 viewers from 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on Sunday – up 29% from the comparable day in London. Coverage featured boxing, the U.S.-France Men’s Basketball game and the Brazil-Switzerland Women’s Volleyball Quarterfinal.

NBC Olympics coverage on other channels and digital streaming has lifted primetime viewership each night (chart below).

Date Total Audience Delivery NBC-only viewership TAD Lift
Sat. 8/6 23.5 million 20.6 million 14%
Sun. 8/7 31.8 million 29.8 million 7%
Mon. 8/8 31.5 million 28.9 million 9%
Tues. 8/9 36.1 million 33.4 million 8%
Wed. 8/10 28.6 million 26.4 million 8%
Thur. 8/11 33.0 million 31.2 million 6%
Fri. 8/12 26.0 million 24.0 million 8%
Sat. 8/13 26.8 million 25.5 million 5%
Sun. 8/14 28.1 million 26.7 million 5%
Mon. 8/15 25.5 million 24.3 million 5%
Average 29.5 million 27.5 million 7%

Through the 10 nights of competition, Total Audience Delivery for Rio 2016 and the 2012 London Olympics:

Day Rio 2016 London 2012* Rio 2016 London 2012*
1st Sat. 23.5 million 28.7 million 13.0 rating 15.8 rating
1st Sun. 31.8 million 36.0 million 17.3 rating 19.8 rating
1st Mon. 31.5 million 31.6 million 18.1 rating 18.0 rating
1st Tues 36.1 million 38.7 million 20.5 rating 21.8 rating
1st Wed 28.6 million 30.8 million 16.5 rating 17.9 rating
1st Thurs 33.0 million 36.8 million 18.9 rating 21.1 rating
1st Friday 26.0 million 28.5 million 15.0 rating 16.2 rating
Mid. Sat. 26.8 million 28.0 million 15.0 rating 15.9 rating
Mid. Sun. 28.1 million 31.3 million 15.8 rating 17.5 rating
2nd Mon. 25.5 million 26.6 million 14.9 rating 15.8 rating



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