For two weeks this summer, Comcast NBCUniversal set out to create the ultimate viewing experience for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio. NBCUniversal delivered an unprecedented 6,755 hours of programming across 11 linear networks, NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app. Primetime coverage averaged a total audience delivery of 27.5 million daily viewers. NBC won all 17 nights of primetime and scored the most dominant Olympic Games on record versus broadcast-network competition among key demographics. On the digital front, Rio marked the first time broadcast network coverage, including primetime, was streamed simultaneously on digital platforms, and NBC Olympics set a record with an astounding 3.3 billion total minutes streamed.
But Rio also represented a broader ambition: the opportunity to showcase a truly unique experience for a massive and captive audience, and to challenge the company to push the boundaries of television even further.
Comcast built a Rio 2016 destination on its Xfinity X1 platform that combined all live TV and online streaming coverage — along with athlete profiles, stats and on demand content — into one integrated NBC Olympics dashboard that was searchable through the X1 voice remote. As a result, live plus same day Rio Olympic primetime ratings among adults 18-49 were 27 percent higher in X1 households than the rest of the country.
But there’s an even simpler objective: to give customers something that’s completely new. For PyeongChang, Comcast will use the opportunity to create a laboratory of innovation once again and leverage the power and flexibility of the X1 platform to create those experiences. Every minute. Every event. All in a single, voice-enabled destination.
As live events go, nothing reaches the scale of the Olympics, which run from Feb. 9 to 25 and will include all 15 sports held at the last Winter Olympics. PyeongChang runs 14 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time, a marked difference from Rio, which ran just three hours ahead. NBCUniversal deployed close to 3,000 people to Rio, alongside 43,000 pieces of equipment, all with the aim of capturing every second of action, with color and features from NBC Olympics’ award-winning talent team.
On the Comcast side, the challenge comes from organizing the unprecedented volume of Olympic content and keeping the viewer apprised of what’s on, when it’s on, and where it’s on. By integrating all of NBC Olympics’ live streams, X1 viewers can access every second on the biggest screen in the home.
It’s become the rallying point for hundreds of Comcast designers, developers, engineers and producers, representing 17 teams in 10 development centers across the country, who are already at work to make the Olympics experience even better for users, with more personalization, choice and discovery, all made simpler with the X1 voice remote.
Comcast NBCUniversal, which holds the U.S. media rights to the Olympic Games through 2032, became an Official Partner of the United States Olympic Committee for the first time in December, further extending the company’s support of Team USA, while creating new opportunities to deliver the Olympic experience for years to come.
The agreement allows for the Team USA marks to be used in advertising and marketing for the Comcast, Xfinity, and Comcast Business brands and makes Comcast the official Internet, video distribution, wireless, home security, and business services provider for the 2018 and 2020 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams.
NBC has owned the American broadcasting rights to the Summer Olympics since 1988 and the Winter Olympics Games since 2002.