Feb 6, 2022 - Sports

Winter Olympics opening ceremony viewership down 43% from 2018

Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Friday‘s Winter Olympics opening ceremony drew nearly 14 million viewers on television, making it one of the least-viewed opening ceremonies on TV in Olympic history, according to numbers provided by NBC Sports.

Why it matters: This year’s Games, like the summer Games in Tokyo last year, are being impacted by a lack of fans and loved ones in stadiums that normally contribute to the excitement of watching the games live.

Details: Including viewership across digital platforms — like NBC’s streaming service Peacock and the NBC sports app — NBC Sports says the event drew 16 million viewers total.

  • That’s down about 43% from the 23.8 million people who watched the opening ceremony for the last winter Games in Pyeongchang in 2018.

The big picture: TV ratings for the Olympics have been declining for many years, and pandemic has exacerbated that trend.

  • Ratings for the Olympic Games opening ceremony in Tokyo last summer were down 36% compared to 2016.
  • Broadcast and cable TV viewership has been declining for many years as more people adopt streaming alternatives.

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