So how did you watch the Olympics? Sitting in a dedicated room in front of a single dedicated screen? Or where you just happened to be, on whatever screen happened to be handy? Did you watch at all?
Either way, you weren’t alone . . . you just didn’t have as many friends in the room as NBC predicted.
According to the New York Times, ‘. . . NBC’s average prime-time audience of 26.7 million viewers was incredibly high — more than triple the combined number of people watching ABC, CBS and Fox at that time. But it fell short of the network’s hopes." From Bloomberg: "The promise was for ratings equaling an average of about 21 million U.S. households and the reality, as of late last week, was roughly 18.2 million, according to a person familiar with the matter.”
Did they make it up on streaming? Not really, according to vulture “. . .some viewers, particularly younger ones for whom the idea of a “network” is almost foreign, are watching in different ways. But even by NBC’s own account, these added platforms only lifted overall viewership by 5–10 percent most nights.”
Including streaming, the average daily audience was less than 9% of the US population.