Angry tweets are all over Twitter for the way NBC has telecast the Olympics using a tape delay approach. Through the end of the day Tuesday however, NBC was averaging 35.6 million viewers per day over the first five days of competition.
Most of the audience that is watching the network’s primetime coverage does not seem to be alarmed with the events not being live. That group forms the most important part of the ratings and has made the executives at NBC ecstatic with the London games.
Perhaps more than ever before, non-traditional sports fans like women and younger children and various different digital platforms are helping to drive NBC to its huge ratings during its primetime coverage.
The 35.6 million per night is 10% more than the 2008 Beijing Games, which carried live coverage during primetime. With 100% on tape delay, the executives at NBC thought ratings would be lower by up to 20% for these Games.
On Tuesday, the telecast featured the U.S. women’s team gymnastics on tape delay in which they won the gold medal. There were also a number of races that included Michael Phelps. In all the show garnered a rating of 21.8.
Putting that in perspective, the fifth game of the recent NBA finals, in which Miami won the title giving LeBron James his first title, had a rating of 12.6 for ABC. Off course, the reach of the Olympics is much broader, accounting for the numbers that are NFL-like for the 17 consecutive nights of the Olympics.
Researchers said that on average over 17.5 million females watch each night, accounting for nearly 50% of the overall audience watching. That is close to triple the amount of women that watch a Sunday Night Football game on NBC.