NBC Ratings Rise During Olympic Opening Saturday; Peacock Posts Best Saturday Ever

With the first full day of games tucked away, NBCUniversal set some strong streaming numbers for the opening Saturday of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the first Olympic games since the launch of the company’s streamer Peacock.

NBC reported today total audience delivery (a metric of total views from linear broadcast, cable channels, mobile, tablets and connected TVs) rose 26% from the Opening Ceremony the night before and garnered an 8.2 household rating across NBC, USA Network, NBCSN and CNBC, per Nielsen.

Another highlight in a day of firsts, Peacock, a centerpiece of the NBCU Tokyo coverage, recorded its most-consumed Saturday since its launch last year. However, the network did not report any specific metrics regarding the streaming platform numbers.

NBC Sports Digital set a milestone for the most streamed Olympics primetime show ever, averaging 648,000 viewers per minute. Viewers also reportedly streamed 371 million total minutes from the Tokyo Olympics, a 21% increase from the same day at the Rio Olympics.

The live competition carried viewership over into the late evening (from midnight to 2 AM, dubbed Primetime Plus) and averaged a total audience delivery of over 4.4 million. That number represents a 13% increase over the opening Saturday from the 2016 Rio Olympics.

NBC said the total audience delivery for Saturday’s Tokyo Primetime coverage totaled approximately 15.3 million viewers.

Deadline reported Saturday NBC numbers were down on Opening Night with sources indicating a 10.4 rating. Though it’s a steep drop from the 2016 Rio opener, the numbers come as little surprise in an era when modern television viewing has been dominated by streaming and social media.

The network said it was also poised to make a splash today for Sunday’s coverage. Katie Ledecky and Caeleb Dressel are on tonight to compete for gold hardware while Simone Biles makes her Tokyo Olympics primetime debut with the U.S. women’s gymnastics team in qualifiers.

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