Ratings: Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony huge, but down versus London

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While there were plenty of people who chose to spend Friday night watching the Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony on NBC, the reality here is that NBC may have made some mistakes in their coverage of it this year.

As a whole, the ceremony drew a 7.7 rating in the 18-49 demographic coupled with over 27 million viewers via the preliminary numbers, and in a vacuum those are great. These are the sort of numbers that any network executive would celebrate with cartwheels and backflips. However, this does mark the lowest total in some time; four years ago, the opening to the London Olympics drew more than 40 million viewers to NBC.

There are a couple of different problems we could identify with the Ceremony right from the get-go that could have caused the decline:

1. The ceremony was tape-delayed on NBC in order to generate maximum ratings. However, by the time it aired in some places the big moments were already well-documented on the internet. More and more people are becoming social-savvy, and in turn these people don’t want to sit around and wait to see what is going to happen when they have other options.

2. There were also a boatload of commercials during the coverage, even more so than the average television broadcast. We almost wish that there was another way in which NBC could do this, such as presenting more in-screen advertisements and giving us things like the Parade of Nations relatively commercial-free given that there is so much that is interesting about seeing all of this play out in front of you. Breaks take away from the experience.

To see some of our own Olympics coverage, be sure to head over here for more on the countries who were certainly worthy of some extra consideration from the games! Also, sign up over here to secure some other TV news on all we cover, sent right over to you via our official CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: Rio 2016.)

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