Advertisers and the American fans seem to share similar views of the 2020 Olympics. Those views appears to be we’re not watching much of the games right now.
Variety published an article on Tuesday that said advertisers are anxious after early declines in traditional TV viewing of the Olympics. Compounding concerns is the withdrawal of Simone Biles from the team gymnastics event on Tuesday. That came hours after Naomi Osaka lost in the third round of the women’s tennis singles event. Biles and Osaka are two of the biggest names at the Olympics.
The first night of competition on Saturday averaged 15.9 million viewers, down 32% from the comparable night of the Rio Summer Games in 2016. NBC’s audience rose to 20 million viewers on Sunday, which was down 36% compared to five years ago. Monday’s competition scored 16.8 million viewers, off 46% from the 31.5 million who watched on the comparable night in 2016.
“The TV ratings are down more than anticipated,” said Lee Berke, president of LHB Sports, Media and Entertainment. “Between the lack of a live audience, the move to streaming and the ongoing dropouts of key competitors due to COVID, all of it seems to have a negative impact.”
The ratings could be off due to the time zone difference in Tokyo and the United States. Without some of the traditional names left in the Olympic Games and with track and field set to being, rating should see an upswing soon regardless of the star power left.