No. 5: Decline of Olympic Viewership

Source: Forbes

Olympic primetime viewership rates for Pyeongchang are down. Forbes reports that in comparison to the 2014 Olympics, tune-in rates have declined by six percent. Olympic coverage for the 2018 games is offered through NBC’s two main platforms–TV broadcast and online through their website and app. Viewership statistics were not reported for digital streaming, however, the numbers for TV are indicative of a larger issue–audiences are in increasing numbers turning away from traditional TV viewing.

The question has to be asked if there was a more effective way to draw viewers. A broader audience could have potentially be captured through on-site streaming on YouTube and Twitter. Additionally, this would have presented an opportunity for advertisers to reach a different demographic.

What I found most interesting when researching this topic, however, was the Wall Street Journal’s take on the issue. They argue that since television viewership is down across the board–the fact that the Olympics experienced only a six percent drop is actually impressive.

The problem of low tune-in rates is an issue being experienced across big televised events. This past Super Bowl recorded the lowest viewership rates for the last nine years.

“The days of the ratings bonanzas are over.” (on the Olympics) -Dani Benowitz, Executive VP of Strategic Investment at Magna

Many industry experts agree that moving forward the landscape of television is changing  and we cannot expect it to perform the same way it has in the past. In the future, events like the Olympics, Oscars, or Super Bowl will need to rethink how they are streamed and what target demographic they are attempting to reach. It will be interesting to see how events like these maneuver the shifting media options. According to AdWeek, people are beginning to rely on phones and tablets to watch TV and it can be assumed that this will play a major role with these types of events.