STAMFORD, CONN.—Medals of gold, silver and bronze were handed out to the athletes of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, but now that the games have concluded, NBC Olympics is dubbing its coverage of the games as gold-medal worthy as well.
NBC released a series of results indicating how many people—and how—people watched this year’s Winter Olympics. One such result was the total streamed minutes during the games, which NBC Sports Digital reported to be 2.17 billion, more than triple what they received for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Of that 2.17 billion, a reported 1.85 billion minutes were live streamed, as NBC Sports Digital said it offered live streams of all of the events at the games via NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app; they also live streamed the Opening Ceremony.
Some individual streaming highlights during the games was the single-day Winter Games record for live streaming minutes of 176.3 million on Saturday, Feb. 11. In addition, the U.S.-Canada women’s gold medal hockey game garnered 525,000 unique views for the live stream, more than all NHL, IIHF and college hockey games that have been broadcast on NBC Sports Digital and only trailing four hockey games from the 2014 Olympics.
Overall, NBC Olympics says that its Total Audience Delivery—a calculation of average minute viewing across broadcast, cable and digital—came in at an average of 19.8 million during primetime throughout the games; NBC-only primetime average viewership was 17.8 million, per NBC’s report. NBC’s statistics show these numbers beat the combined average of ABC, CBS and Fox during the Olympics.
However, the 2018 Winter Olympics had the smallest average viewership since the 1998 Winter Olympics, even with the addition of cable and digital numbers. Despite those results, Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Broadcasting and Sports, said that the Winter Olympics proved to be profitable.
Additional statistics from NBC’s report include the fact that the Olympics were the top-rated program for all 18 nights it was in primetime; NBCSN had its most-watched month ever with a daily average of 768,000 viewers; the Olympics provided a boost to other NBC programming, including news, “The Tonight Show” and original programming; and the games helped make NBC number one in total viewers at any point during the TV season for the first time since 2001-2002, according to Nielsen.
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