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NBC: London Olympics Streams Three Times Bigger Than Beijing

13 Aug, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Entering the final weekend of the London Summer Olympics (Aug. 10), there were 45 million live streams of sports events compared with 14 million live streams during the same period at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, according to NBC Universal.

More importantly, despite the tape-delayed broadcasts, primetime TV broadcasts in London beat Beijing 12 out of 13 nights, averaging 32.6 million viewers a night, according to Alan Wurtzel, president of media development and research at NBC Universal.

Speaking online, Wurtzel said the research found that people who knew the results of sporting events ahead of time were more likely to watch primetime than people who didn’t know the results.

“That’s extraordinary,” Wurtzel told NBCUniversalDirect.com. “Four years ago Beijing operated in a very different media world. There was a certain aura surrounding Beijing that was seductive. There were a lot of events that were live and in primetime. I don’t think anybody thought we would come close to Beijing.”

Wurtzel said key differences between London and Beijing included the fact that tablet computers didn’t exist in 2008 and smartphone use was limited.

“Our digital use broke all records,” he said. “What the digital strategy seems to have done has been to result in younger viewers — that is kids and teens — watching far more of the London Olympics than they ever did in Beijing. Among all demographic groups, it was kids and teens that showed double-digit gains over their viewing in Beijing.”

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