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NBC Selling Intimacy, Community With Olympics Coverage

The Opening Ceremony took place on Friday in Tokyo.

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: Arab News

The Opening Ceremony for the Tokyo Olympics has commenced, bringing an unprecedented broadcast challenge for NBC. Andrew Marchand spoke with NBC Sports Olympics Executive producer Molly Shannon about their strategy for a Games that will largely be fanless.

“We really believe the Tokyo Olympics will be the most meaningful Olympics in our lifetime,” Solomon said.

A year of extra preparation and firsthand knowledge of what a strong fanless broadcast looks like gives Shannon and her team confidence heading into the multi-week event. NBC is swapping wide crowd shots for more intimate conversations that Olympic fans have never had access to.

“We believe there’s an opportunity to bring viewers closer to the action than ever,” Solomon said. “And it’s sports like swimming, gymnastics, track, basketball, beach volleyball. You’re going to hear the sounds of games like you’ve never heard them before — from the thrashing and splashing in the pool to these intimate conversations between competitors and coaches.”

Sports like football and baseball had crowd noise artificially pumped into the stadium or the broadcast feed over the past year, but Shannon noted the swath of events is too large for tailor-made audio overlay. Although, some venues will be playing crowd noise on their own to build a more normal feel into the events for athletes.

NBC has a massive broadcast package to offer its viewers, including 17 consecutive nights and 250 hours on broadcast TV, 1,300-plus hours on cable, 5,500 hours on digital, 300-plus on Telemundo. Also, Peacock is airing a plethora of live gymnastics, track, and USA Basketball events.

Marchand confirmed that more feature storytelling is coming to tell the athlete’s tales. NBC has worked in part with other global broadcasters to gather as much information as possible on the athletes. Adapting to circumstance has been the name of the game in sports media over the past year, that’s not changing as the Olympics begin in the Land Of The Rising Sun.

Sports TV News

ABC Scores Most Watched NBA Saturday Primetime Game In 4 Years

“The game drew 3.7 million viewers.”

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The Boston Celtics beat the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night. While the game’s controversial finish left LeBron James and Patrick Beverly upset, executives at the Walt Disney Company had nothing but smiles thanks to the performance of ABC.

The game drew 3.7 million viewers. That means the Celtics’ win is the most-watched game in the ABC Saturday night prime-time window in the last four years. A February 2019 game between the Lakers and Golden State Warriors drew 4.1 million.

Boston also delivered the highest-rated game of the NBA season so far outside of the league’s stacked Christmas Day slate.

NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC is experiencing a nice uptick in viewership this season. Through the weekend, the Saturday night games are averaging over 3.4 million viewers according to an ESPN press release.

That number represents a 16% jump from last season. The edition of NBA Countdown that airs before the Saturday night game is having a good season as well. It’s average audience is up 3% to just under 1.5 million.

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NHL Ratings on ESPN, TNT Down in 2nd Year

So far this season, games on ESPN and TNT are averaging 373,000 viewers, which is down from 478,000 last season.

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Viewership totals from ESPN and TNT show NHL ratings have declined heading into the All-Star break, but there are some extenuating circumstances for the nearly 22% drop.

So far this season, games on ESPN and TNT are averaging 373,000 viewers, which is down from 478,000 last season. However, both channels have increased their linear television schedule, doubling from 27 games to 54.

ESPN has aired 18 games with an average of 402,000 viewers. In the same time period last year, the worldwide leader had only aired seven contests, but garnered 622,000 per game. None of ESPN’s games last season had aired on weekends, while the network has broadcast six games on Sunday this year alone. The 12 games ESPN has aired that weren’t on Sunday have averaged 491,000 viewers.

The 2023 NHL All-Star Game will air on ABC Saturday, and the network is hoping for a lift from last season. In 2022, ratings fell 38% from the previous All-Star Game on NBC, and hit the lowest total since 2009. The NHL Skills challenge saw its largest audience in a decade after airing on ESPN in primetime on a Friday evening. Nearly 1.1 million watched the skills challenge, a 30% increase compared to 2020.

At this time last season, TNT had aired 20 games. Through 36 games this season, the network has seen an average of 359,000 viewers. The network is helped by the 2023 Winter Classic, which took place at Fenway Park on Monday, January 2nd. The afternoon contest saw an audience of 1.78 million, up 31% compared to the previous year.

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Sports TV News

AFC Championship Game Delivers New Viewership High For CBS

53.1 million viewers tuned in to see the Chiefs victory over the Bengals, making it the most-watched television program since Super Bowl LVI.

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The AFC Championship Game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals drew a massive audience for CBS.

53.1 million viewers tuned in to see the Chiefs’ controversial victory over the Bengals, making it the most-watched television program since Super Bowl LVI. Additionally, the event is the most-watched NFL Conference Championship Game since 2017.

CBS claims the game peaked with 59.3 million viewers and was also the most-streamed live sporting event in the history of Paramount+.

With an audience of 53.1 million, CBS concludes its NFL playoff coverage averaging 40.798 million viewers for each game. That leads all networks thus far. The 2022 NFL season was the most-watched regular season on CBS in the past seven seasons.

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