Tokyo 2020 was ‘The First Streaming Games’ says IOC

(Image credit: IOC)

Last year’s Tokyo Olympics have been described as the first “streaming Games” after becoming the most-watched Games on digital platforms.

Timo Lumme, managing director, IOC Television and Marketing Services, said: “Beijing 2008 was perhaps the first digital Games, London 2012 was the first social media Games, and Tokyo 2020 is the first streaming Olympic Games.”

While TV remained the dominant platform, with 21.3 billion hours of Tokyo 2020 coverage consumed via TV, last summer’s event saw an upsurge of 74 per cent in digital unique viewers compared to Rio 26, reveals the IOC’s Marketing Report Tokyo 2020.

Video views on digital platforms rose by 139% compared to the previous Summer Olympics. The report suggests 3.05 billion people watched the Games, with 23 billon hours of content consumed via both TV and digital platforms.

Tokyo 2020 was the first Games to be fully produced natively in Ultra High Definition High Dynamic Range. Olympic Broadcasting Services produced 3,300 hours of UHD/HDR coverage, and 10,200 hours of content in total.

In the U.S. more than 120 billion minutes of content was consumed across all NBCU platforms (TV, digital and social). With nearly 6 billion streaming minutes across digital and social media, Tokyo 2020 was NBC Sports' Digital's most streamed Olympic games ever. Streaming platform Peacock, featuring Olympics coverage for the first time, recorded its best two weeks of usage the IOC said. 

In Europe, 1.3 billion minutes of content were consumed across Discovery’s digital platforms, with over 175 million viewing the broadcaster’s coverage on TV and digital—13 times more than PyeongChang 2018.

The BBC broadcast more hours of coverage than ever before, with a total of 36.4 million viewers for its content. Across its digital platforms, including BBC iPlayer, the Corporation reported a record-breaking 104 million requests.

In France, viewers spent an average of 7.53 hours each watching the Games.

The full IOC Marketing Report Tokyo 2020 is available here (opens in new tab).

Jenny has worked in the media throughout her career, joining TVBEurope as editor in 2017. She has also been an entertainment reporter, interviewing everyone from Kylie Minogue to Tom Hanks; as well as spending a number of years working in radio. She continues to appear on radio every week and occasionally pops up on TV.