Olympics Close Out With Brutally Low TV Ratings

(Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Katie Jerkovich Entertainment Reporter
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Sunday was the final day of the 2022 Beijing Olympics and the overall numbers for how many people watched this year’s winter games were the worst ever for NBCUniversal.

The games, which started Feb. 4 and went through Sunday, averaged 11.4 million viewers across all of the network’s platforms in primetime, according to the Hollywood Reporter in a piece published Monday. (RELATED: David Hookstead Is The True King In The North When It Comes To College Football)

Those numbers are down from the average number of 19.8 million who watched the games in 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the report noted. Not only were the average number of viewers down by 42%, but this year’s winter games were down some 26% from the summer Olympics held in Tokyo in 2021.

The games from Tokyo had an average number of 15.5 million primetime viewers in the company’s “Total Audience Delivery” metric (a combination of Nielsen ratings for TV and Adobe Analytics figures for digital platforms), the outlet noted. (RELATED: Ex-US Olympic Skier Says Beijing Games Will Be Remembered By Ploy ‘To Bolster Two Different Authoritarian Governments’)

Even with the smallest audience ever, the network touted that more people streamed the Beijing Olympics than any other games in the past. The primetime numbers came in with an all-time high in the streaming era with 516,000 people watching. That’s up 8% from the summer games, the report noted.

“NBCUniversal’s presentation of the Beijing Olympics dominated across all platforms and once again showed that nothing captivates Americans for 18 consecutive days and nights like the Olympic Games,” said Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, according to the outlet.