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150 Million Americans Watched NBC’s Tokyo Olympics

Extending Dominance – NBC’s Tokyo Olympics Ranks #1 in Primetime for 135th Consecutive Summer Olympics Night on Sunday

NBC Olympics’ Tokyo Primetime Coverage Averaged 15.6 Million Viewers – to Rank with Sunday Night Football as Top Two Primetime Shows of 2020-21

Most Streamed Olympics Ever – NEARLY 6 BILLION Streaming Minutes Consumed Across NBC Olympics Digital and Social Media Platforms, Highlighted by Peacock’s Best Two Weeks for Usage Ever

Record-Setting USA Network – Posts Best Primetime Summer Olympics Cable Viewership Ever; Ranks as #1 Sports and Entertainment Cable Network in Primetime throughout the Games

STAMFORD, Conn. – August 9, 2021 (UPDATED on 8/10 to reflect official Nielsen viewership for 8/8 and 8/9) – The NBC broadcast of the Closing Ceremony last night concluded NBCUniversal’s presentation of the Tokyo Olympics -- the largest media event in history, which delivered massive audiences throughout the day and across all platforms.

Among the highlights:

    • NBCUniversal presented a record 7,000+ hours of Summer Olympics coverage.
    • 150 million Americans watched NBC’s Tokyo Olympics presentation.
    • Last night’s Closing Ceremony coverage on NBC marked the 135th consecutive Summer Olympics night that NBC Olympics coverage ranked #1 in primetime.
    • NBC Olympics primetime coverage ranks with NBC’s Sunday Night Football as the two most watched primetime shows of 2020-21.
    • With nearly 6 BILLION streaming minutes across digital and social media, the Tokyo Olympics is NBC Sports Digital’s most streamed Olympics ever.
    • More than 120 BILLION minutes of Tokyo Olympics content has been consumed across all NBCUniversal platforms (television, digital and social).
    • Peacock, featuring Olympics coverage for the first time, recorded its best two weeks of usage.
    • USA Network set multiple cable television records for a Summer Olympics.
    • Olympic coverage created major benefits for the NBCUniversal portfolio.

Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming: “Nothing brings NBCU together more than the Olympics, and no single property has a greater positive effect on our entire company. The power of the NBC flagship broadcast again led the way with the most-watched night of TV across all networks every night for 17 days, cable records on USA Network, extensive Spanish-language coverage by Telemundo Deportes, and unprecedented streaming consumption – including sharply increasing signups, usage and awareness of Peacock. We were dominant across every platform. Our Olympic presentation has also provided unmatched promotion for the rest of the company, including TODAY and Nightly News, local newscasts on owned stations and affiliates, and for our Parks, including Universal Orlando Resort – the home base of the tremendous friends and family watch party that we created with the USOPC.”

Pete Bevacqua, Chairman, NBC Sports: “There is nothing more powerful in media than the 17 straight days of Olympics dominance. Despite being thrown a series of curveballs over the last 18 months, the power of the Olympics delivered to audiences across the various platforms of NBCU has proven itself unequaled. The pandemic fundamentally altered virtually every aspect of these Games, but our team pivoted, and reimagined, in the midst of showcasing history-making performances across 41 sports. Once again, we have seen the unparalleled power that these Games have on media and our culture.”

Molly Solomon, Executive Producer & President, NBC Olympics Production: “Our team has been equal to every challenge these extraordinary Games have presented, enabling us to chronicle the Tokyo Olympics in the most comprehensive way possible. Viewers on all of our platforms have been able to experience the benefits of thousands of production staff working on three continents to cover the most ambitious media event in history.”

NBC OLYMPICS CONTINUES MEDIA DOMINANCE: With a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 15.5 million primetime viewers, according to Nielsen and Adobe Analytics, NBC Olympics:

    • Has ranked #1 in primetime for 135 consecutive Summer Olympic nights
    • Ranked #1 on television in every hour and quarter hour of primetime for each of the 17 nights (based upon preliminary data for 8/7-8/8)
    • Regularly doubled and tripled the combined viewership of its competitors
    • Accounted for 11 of the 25 most-watched primetime shows in 2021

MOST-WATCHED PRIMETIME SERIES SINCE 2016 RIO OLYMPICS: In the five years since the 2016 Rio Olympics, only seven primetime TV programs (minimum 10 episodes/shows) have averaged 15 million TV viewers (not including streaming) – all on NBC. Following are those shows:

YearNetworkShowAvg. TV Viewers
2021NBC*Tokyo Olympics15.1 million
2020NBCSunday Night Football16.8 million
2019NBCSunday Night Football20.0 million
2018NBCSunday Night Football19.3 million
2018NBC*PyeongChang Olympics19.7 million
2017NBCSunday Night Football18.2 million
2016NBCSunday Night Football20.3 million

Source: Nielsen, Live + Same Day Data; (Official viewership for 8/7-8/8 will be available on Tuesday); *Viewership across multiple television networks

NBC SPORTS DIGITAL DELIVERS MOST-STREAMED OLYMPICS EVER: NBC Sports Digital live streamed every event of the Tokyo Olympics via and the NBC Sports app, and presented coverage for the first time on Peacock. Among the highlights:

    • Viewers streamed a record of more than 5.6 BILLION MINUTES across NBC Sports Digital and social media platforms. That figure includes more than 4.4 billion minutes of Tokyo Olympics content streamed across, the NBC Sports app and Peacock – up 25% from 2016 Rio and up 101% from 2018 PyeongChang – and more than 1.2 billion minutes across NBC Sports social platforms.
    • NBC Sports Digital’s Tokyo Olympics coverage delivered its 10 most-streamed primetime presentations in Olympics history.
    • NBC Sports Digital’s Average Minute Audience of 477,000 viewers in primetime is the best ever for an Olympics.
    • Peacock registered its best two weeks of usage during the Summer Games.

120+ BILLION MINUTES CONSUMED ACROSS NBCUNIVERSAL PLATFORMS: More than 120 billion minutes of Tokyo Olympics content has been consumed across NBCUniversal platforms – television, digital and social – the equivalent of all 330 million Americans watching more than six hours each.

RECORD-SETTING SUMMER GAMES FOR USA NETWORK: Highlighted by live coverage of track & field, men’s and women’s beach volleyball, indoor volleyball and softball, USA Network was the top destination for sports and entertainment programming on cable, and set numerous Summer Olympics records.

    • USA Network averaged 1.6 million primetime viewers for the Tokyo Olympics (7/24-8/6) – ranking as the #1 sports and entertainment cable network in primetime over the course of the Games.
    • Since the start of its primetime Olympic coverage (7/24), USA Network has delivered its best primetime viewership average over a two-week stretch since March 2018.
    • USA Network’s primetime viewership average is the best ever for any cable network during the Summer Olympics.
    • USA Network delivered cable’s three most-watched Summer Olympics nights ever.

GOLF CHANNEL MILESTONES: Live men’s and women’s Olympic golf hit multiple milestones for GOLF Channel.

    • Coverage of the down-to-the-wire final round of men’s golf on Saturday, July 31 delivered the best late night viewership in GOLF Channel history (878,000 viewers, Midnight-3:30 am ET), and ranked second among all networks in that time period (behind only NBC’s “Prime Plus” Olympics show).
    • Primetime coverage of the men’s golf competition averaged 565,000 viewers – marking GOLF Channel’s best four-day primetime stretch since December 2019 (President’s Cup).
    • Coverage of the women’s golf competition averaged 345,000 viewers – a 26% increase over the same event in Rio in 2016. The final round on Friday, August 6 (595,000 viewers) increased 39% from comparable Rio coverage.
    • Last Friday’s final round of the women’s competition was GOLF Channel’s most-watched women’s golf telecast since August 2017 (Solheim Cup final round).

“PRIME PLUS” UP FROM RIO: NBC Olympics’ “Prime Plus” late-night coverage averaged a Total Audience Delivery of 5.4 million viewers – up 4% from NBC’s late-night show at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

RATINGS & VIEWERSHIP SUCCESS FOR NBC NEWS & AFFILIATE NEWS PROGRAMMING: NBC’s national news programming as well as local owned-station and affiliate newscasts benefitted from Tokyo Olympics promotion and lead-in. TODAY and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt were both onsite in Tokyo throughout the Olympics.

    • TODAY was the #1 ranked morning show for both weeks of the Tokyo Olympics, delivering its most-watched weeks since March, with a 25% advantage over the closest competition among adults 25-54.
    • NBC Nightly News registered its most-watched weeks since March, and its Sunday editions on July 25 and August 1 were the most-watched program (excluding sports) across all of television in their respective weeks. In addition, Nightly won the past two weeks among adults 18-49 and adults 25-54.

    • Late local newscasts (Mon-Fri) on NBC affiliates in the 44 overnight metered markets posted a collective 79% increase in household rating over the prior four weeks.

TELEMUNDO DEPORTES DELIVERS ACROSS MULTIPLE PLATFORMS: Telemundo Deportes coverage of the Tokyo Olympics has reached approximately 10 million viewers (through last Wednesday). In that same time period, the Tokyo Olympics generated 13.3 million minutes streamed across Telemundo Deportes digital platforms, up 20% from Rio 2016.

“TONIGHT SHOW” BOOST FOLLOWING OPENING CEREMONY: “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” following the Opening Ceremony delivered its highest rating in the adult 18-49 demo since Sept. 2020.


    • 2.9 billion impressions on NBC Olympics’ Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts
    • 338.7 million public engagements on NBC Olympics’ Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and Snap accounts
    • Since the Opening Ceremony, the Twitch community has watched more than 136.6 million minutes of Olympics content, with more than 14 million unique viewers tuning in for the exclusive, interactive content
    • Reached 1.5 million NBC Olympics TikTok followers, added 1.2 million during the Games alone
    • NBC Olympics’ largest podcast offering ever delivered 426,000 downloads across the slate of daily podcasts. In addition, the podcasts were featured on Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and Spotify, and The Podium was Apple Podcasts’ “Pick of the Week.”


A division of NBC Sports Group, NBC Olympics is responsible for producing, programming and promoting NBCUniversal’s coverage of the Olympic & Paralympic Games. NBC Olympics is renowned for its unsurpassed Olympic heritage, award-winning production, and ability to aggregate the largest audiences in U.S. television history. NBCUniversal owns the U.S. media rights on all platforms to all Olympic Games through 2032. NBC Olympics also produces thousands of hours of Olympic & Paralympic sports programming throughout the year, which is presented on NBC, NBCSN, Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, Peacock and NBC Sports digital platforms.