No Surprise: NBC’s Online Olympics a Huge Success

According to multiple reports from an NBC press call today, the network’s massive effort to put the Olympics online is an equally massive success, especially on mobile platforms. Paid Content’s Robert Andrews has a complete wrapup of the numbers, but the ones that stick out for us here at Mobile Sports Report are (and these are all digital numbers, not broadcast):

64 MILLION total video streams served so far

5.3 MILLION hours of live video

45 Percent of all digital video streams are coming from a phone or tablet, and not an online laptop or desktop

What this tells us — and what we hope NBC and other old school broadcasters can digest — is that despite massive online consumption of content, the golden-goose prime time broadcasts aren’t harmed. In fact prime time is even bigger and better than ever for NBC, despite all the criticisms which we believe are warranted.

It seems chic for a lot of media types to surf the second wave of follow-me journalism, namely criticizing the criticizers for being a bunch of Twitterheads who don’t matter to “real people” who have “real jobs” and can only watch TV late at night. To that we say nerts. It’s pretty obvious from the online numbers that there is an entirely new audience out there who wants to consume content on their own schedule, or as close to real time as possible. Those people who smugly say Twitter and phone-watchers “don’t matter” need to get out of their own stereotypes and realize the world of the future is going to be one where more, not fewer, people get their content through mobile devices, with perhaps those mobile devices and their connectivity powering that big screen grandpa used to call “the TV.”

I’ll start the third wave — the critics of the critics are wrong. NBC’s own numbers are showing that online and digital can be huge without detracting from prime-time production numbers. There’s a whole new audience out there who consumes sports on mobile devices, and they are right to stand up for what they want, telling broadcasters like NBC directly through the mediums they live in. They are the growth of sports media. What is your sport doing to find them?


  1. UPDATE: Some more interesting mobile stats about Olympics viewing, from a UK perspective.

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