NBCUniversal recorded a 72% increase in streaming audiences for the Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony on Friday, compared to the 2016 edition— but posted its lowest overall viewership numbers in 33 years.
- Including streaming, NBC’s Olympics audience dropped 36% to 17 million viewers. The Rio Opening Ceremony had an audience of 26.5 million people; London’s 2012 ceremony reached 40.7 million.
- NBCUniversal streaming service Peacock didn’t launch until 2020 — the 2016 streaming numbers come from NBC’s Olympics site and the NBC Sports app.
The Comcast-owned company redeemed itself as the weekend went on. Viewership of morning cable coverage increased 24% on Saturday compared to the same day in Rio, and Peacock landed its most-watched Saturday since the service’s launch.
After a shaky start — including Simone Biles recording uncharacteristic errors, and Team USA losing its first Olympic basketball game since 2004 — the U.S. is back among the leaders with 14 medals (seven gold, three silver, and four bronze).