Tokyo Olympics Viewership Hits New Low On NBC

UPDATED, 3:52 PM: NBC’s Tokyo Olympics primetime coverage netted around 10.5 million linear viewers on Friday, the smallest audience of the games for the network so far. Over the same night of the Rio Olympics, NBC’s primetime viewership was down 56%.

NBC claimed 15.2 million total audience delivery for Friday night, with Peacock notching its best-ever Friday usage. According to the network, in TAD, its primetime coverage has now reached an audience of 15 million for the seventh day in a row.

Viewership was down though from Thursday, which marked the 2021 games’ second-most watched and second highest-rated day, bringing in an average of 16.2 million viewers.

Total Audience Delivery was assessed based on preliminary figures. Nielsen will be offering more in-depth information on viewership on Monday.

Thus far, nearly 1/3 of Americans (105 million) have tuned in for coverage of the Olympics. Athletes competed yesterday in golf, baseball, basketball, beach volleyball, and track & field, among numerous other sports.

PREVIOUSLY, JULY 30: World class gymnasts including the United States’ very own Suni Lee weren’t the only ones bouncing up Thursday night as NBC’s coverage of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics saw a slight increase in viewership and ratings.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics still remains no match for the 2016 summer games, viewership and ratings-wise, but Thursday marked the games’ second-most watched and second highest-rated day, bringing in an average of 16.2 million viewers and a 3.6 rating int he 18-49 demo, per overnights. Sunday remains the most watched night of the sporting event so far (4.1, 17.0M). Thursday made for the highest-rated day of competition this week, so far.

The corresponding night in 2016 brought in double what Thursday evening did, drawing in 31.3 million viewers and an a 9.0/31 rating.

Lee was not the only American athlete to walk away with gold as swimmers Caeleb Dressel and Katie Ledecky also took top prizes for their races. Thursday also marked another viewership milestone for NBC as the network claimed that NBCUniversal reached more than 100 million TV viewers since the beginning of the Games across multiple platforms, including Peacock.

A sports-filled primetime slot was not exclusive to NBC on Thursday as ABC’s evening featured the NBA Draft. Paling in comparison to the major sports event over at NBC, the draft pulled in an average of 1.48 million viewers and a 0.4 rating. Fox’s primetime consisted of reruns, again.

CBS’s highest-rated and most-watched program of Thursday was Big Brother (0.9, 3.86M), followed by Love Island (0.4, 1.78M) and a rerun of Bull (0.2, 1.5M). The CW had a quiet night of a Rosewell New Mexico rerun and a new installment of The Outpost (0.0, 0.45M)

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