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Sunday’s Total Audience Delivery Registers 28.1 Million Primetime Viewers

With 1.86 Billion Live Streaming Minutes, NBC Olympics’ Rio 2016 Tops COMBINED Total of ALL Prior Olympics By 26%

NBC & Golf Channel 90-Minute Coverage of Closing Holes of Men’s Competition Posts 2nd-Best Final Round Rating for Any ’16 Golf Event

NBCSN’s Arsenal-Liverpool is Most-Watched Opening Weekend Premier League Cable Match Ever with 745,000 Viewers

RIO DE JANEIRO – August 15, 2016 – Usain Bolt’s historic victory in the 100 meters, marking an unprecedented third consecutive gold medal in the event, highlighted a star-studded NBC primetime Sunday telecast which included:

  • Bob Costas’ visit with Bolt in Jamaica
  • Simone Biles winning her third gold medal in Rio (in the vault)
  • Michael Phelps’ in-studio interview with Costas
  • Cris Collinsworth’s candid discussion with 100-meter silver medalist Justin Gatlin
  • Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross winning a thrilling quarterfinal in beach volleyball
  • A feature on 400-meter gold medalist Wayde van Niekerk
  • Allyson Felix-led Team USA qualifying for the women’s 400m final

Viewership for the NBC broadcast peaked at 34.9 million between 9:15-9:30 p.m. ET/PT, as Bolt accomplished his sprint milestone, according to national data from The Nielsen Company.

Sunday’s primetime Rio Olympics coverage posted a Total Audience Delivery average of 28.1 million viewers with a 15.8 household rating.

NBC Olympics’ Total Audience Delivery measures broader Rio Olympics consumption by calculating average minute viewing across broadcast, cable, and digital. The 2016 Rio Olympics is the first in U.S. media history with live primetime Olympic coverage on channels other than the primary broadcast network. It is also the first time that the broadcast network coverage, including primetime, has been streamed simultaneously on digital platforms.

Last night’s NBC-only Rio Olympics coverage (7-11 p.m. ET/PT) averaged 26.7 million viewers and posted a 14.9/27 household rating. Also in primetime on Sunday, NBCSN’s live Olympic competition coverage averaged 1.02 million viewers, while Bravo’s live coverage of Andy Murray’s victory in the men’s tennis gold-medal match (7-8:30 p.m.) averaged 929,000 viewers.

In the first Olympic golf competition since 1904…

NBC and Golf Channel both provided coverage of the dramatic closing holes of the men’s Olympic golf tournament (1:12-2:49 p.m.). Aside from the final round of the Masters, this ranks as the highest-rated 90-minute window of final round golf coverage in 2016 with a combined 5.6 household rating and 8.8 million average viewers. Additionally, streaming of the men’s competition ranks second to The Open in every metric for NBC Sports’ golf events on record, including Live starts: 873,025, Live minutes: 27,463,315, Uniques: 483,616 and Visits: 692,472.

Afternoon coverage on Golf Channel (Noon-3:12 p.m. ET) earned a 1.02 household rating with 1.6 million viewers, marking the best performance in the time period for total viewers and Adults 25-54 (495,000) since the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am featuring Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson in February of 2012. Golf Channel coverage peaked at a 1.22 household rating and 1.845 million viewers (2:30-2:45 p.m.). Early coverage (6 a.m.-Noon) is Golf Channel’s best performance in the time period in more than eight years since the Dubai Desert Classic won by Woods in February 2008 for both total viewers (556,000) and Adults 25-54 (174,000).

Justin Rose won the gold medal with a down-to-the-wire victory over Open champion and silver medalist Henrik Stenson. American Matt Kuchar, who had Sunday’s best score (8-under par 63), won the bronze.

Additional NBC Olympics metrics:

  • After 10 days, the NBC-only average primetime viewership (27.8 million viewers) and household rating (15.4) have respective 276% and 214% advantages over ABC, CBS and FOX combined – the second-largest Games advantage on record (behind only the London Olympics).

  • Among Adults 18-49, NBC’s 10-night 8.0 primetime rating in the demographic is five times greater than the other broadcast networks combined (1.6 on ABC, CBS and FOX) – the largest advantage in the first 10 days of any Olympics (on record).

  • Through Sunday, NBC Olympics’ live streaming for Rio 2016 has reached 1.86 billion live streaming minutes – already topping by 26% the combined total of ALL prior Olympics (1.48 billion for Sochi, London, Vancouver, Beijing and Torino).

  • Helped by unprecedented Summer Games promotion, NBCSN’s Arsenal-Liverpool match averaged 745,000 viewers – marking the most-watched Premier League opening weekend match ever on U.S. cable television. In addition, the match is the third-most streamed Premier League match ever with 6.8 million live minutes.

  • Telemundo averaged 494,000 viewers from 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on Sunday – up 29% from the comparable day in London. Coverage featured boxing, the U.S.-France Men’s Basketball game and the Brazil-Switzerland Women’s Volleyball Quarterfinal.

NBC Olympics coverage on other channels and digital streaming has lifted primetime viewership each night (chart below).

DateTotal Audience DeliveryNBC-only viewershipTAD Lift
Sat. 8/623.5 million20.6 million14%
Sun. 8/731.8 million29.8 million7%
Mon. 8/831.5 million28.9 million9%
Tues. 8/936.1 million33.4 million8%
Wed. 8/1028.6 million26.4 million8%
Thur. 8/1133.0 million31.2 million6%
Fri. 8/1226.0 million24.0 million8%
Sat. 8/1326.8 million25.5 million5%
Sun. 8/1428.1 million26.7 million5%
Average29.9 million27.9 million7%

Through the nine nights of competition, Total Audience Delivery for Rio 2016 and the 2012 London Olympics:


DayRio 2016London 2012*Rio 2016London 2012*
1st Sat.23.5 million28.7 million13.0 rating15.8 rating
1st Sun.31.8 million36.0 million17.3 rating19.8 rating
1st Mon.31.5 million31.6 million18.1 rating18.0 rating
1st Tues.36.1 million38.7 million20.5 rating21.8 rating
1st Wed.28.6 million30.8 million16.5 rating17.9 rating
1st Thurs.33.0 million36.8 million18.9 rating21.1 rating
1st Friday26.0 million28.5 million15.0 rating16.2 rating
Mid. Sat.26.8 million28.0 million15.0 rating15.9 rating
Mid. Sun.28.1 million31.3 million15.8 rating17.5 rating

*NOTE: The 2012 London Olympics had no simultaneous live streaming and no competing primetime Olympic cable coverage.


1. Salt Lake City20.5/40
2. Austin20.2/35
T3. Columbus19.9/33
T3. Richmond19.9/32
5. Denver19.7/38
T6. San Diego19.4/37
T6. Norfolk19.4/31
T8. Cincinnati19.2/31
T8. Indianapolis19.2/31
10. West Palm Beach19.1/31

About NBC Olympics

A division of NBC Sports Group, NBC Olympics is responsible for producing, programming and promoting NBCUniversal’s Olympic Games coverage. It is renowned for its unsurpassed Olympic heritage, award-winning production, and ability to aggregate the largest audiences in U.S. television history. The London 2012 Olympic Games were watched by 217 million Americans across the networks of NBCUniversal, making it the most-watched event in U.S. television history.

--Rio 2016—