July 24 (Reuters) – NBC’s broadcast of the Tokyo Olympic Games opening ceremony drew 16.7 million viewers, the smallest U.S. television audience for the event in the past 33 years, according to preliminary data from Comcast-owned NBCUniversal on Saturday.
Across all platforms, including NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app, 17 million people watched the ceremony, NBCUniversal said in an email.
The streaming audience on those platforms grew 76% from the 2018 PyeongChang opening ceremony and 72% from the 2016 Rio opener, reflecting a change in viewing habits.
Friday’s audience reflects a steep drop, despite difficult comparisons with previous opening ceremonies when viewers had fewer streaming options.
The Tokyo opener TV audience declined 37% from 2016, when 26.5 million people watched the Rio de Janeiro Games opener, and 59% from 2012, when 40.7 million people watched the London ceremony.