One of the biggest stories heading into the 2020 Tokyo Olympics was the absence of fans at events due to the COVID-19 virus. But now, it seems that lack of viewership has bled into the televised broadcasts of the games as well.
According to Austin Karp of Sports Business Journal, Monday’s primetime telecast of the Tokyo Olympics on NBC was down around 47% compared to the same day in previous games.
On the same Monday at the London games in 2012, the average viewership was at 31.6 million. At Rio in 2016, 31.5 million.
Yesterday in Tokyo, that figure dropped to just 16.8 million.
Looking like the first Monday primetime telecast of the Tokyo Olympics for NBC was down around 47% compared to the same night in Rio 2016 and London 2012.
Tokyo: 16.8 million
Rio: 31.5 million
London: 31.6 million
— Austin Karp (@AustinKarp) July 27, 2021
These low Monday viewership ratings came in the wake of equally disappointing opening ceremony numbers. Compared to 41 million viewers for London in 2012 and 23.5 million for Rio in 2016, this year’s opening ceremony in Tokyo attracted just 17 million viewers.
NBC’s best day for viewership so far came with an average of 19.8 million on Sunday. According to CNBC, NBC’s parent company, the average viewership of the games jumped 61% from Friday to Sunday, “the largest increase ever in the first three nights of a Summer Olympics.”
Let’s see if these viewership numbers will continue to climb during tonight’s primetime coverage.