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 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.

NBC Olympics’ Total Audience Delivery measures broader Rio Olympics consumption by calculating average minute viewing across broadcast, cable, and digital. The 2016 Rio Olympics is the first in U.S. media history with live primetime Olympic coverage on channels other than the primary broadcast network. It is also the first time that the broadcast network coverage, including primetime, has been streamed simultaneously on digital platforms.

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
After 10 days, the NBC-only average primetime viewership (27.8 million viewers) and household rating (15.4) have respective 276% and 214% 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 10-night 8.0 primetime rating in the demographic is five times greater than the other broadcast networks combined (1.6 on ABC, CBS and FOX) – the largest advantage in the first 10 days of any Olympics (on record).

Through Sunday, NBC Olympics’ live streaming for Rio 2016 has reached 1.86 billion live streaming minutes – already topping by 26% the combined total of ALL prior Olympics (1.48 billion for Sochi, London, Vancouver, Beijing and Torino).

Helped by unprecedented Summer Games promotion, 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.

Subscribe and Get SVG Europe Newsletters