Olympic Television Viewership Drops

NBC News Online reports television viewership of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil dropped 17 percent from the London Olympics in 2012.

The increasing number of online outlets for the olympic games have heavily played a role in the lower statistics. Websites like BBC, MSN and Olympics Live have contributed to the billions of online views of the Olympic games this past summer.

Taylor Zagrocki, a Dimond sophomore, said she only watches the Olympics online.

“Yeah. It’s easier to just watch specific events online than to watch on TV. There are too many commercials and I never know when what I want will be played,” said Zagrocki.

Peoples’ increasingly busy schedules also seem to play a factor in the dropping viewership numbers. It seems to be a common theme among families nowadays to simply not have enough time in the day. Less important activities such as watching the olympics have been pushed to the end of the day’s to-do list.

“I was too busy to watch the Olympics,” said Dimond Sophomore Savannah Johansen.

“Between work and basketball, I didn’t really watch a lot of the Olympics. I tried to stay updated on what was going on, but it didn’t really happen.”

A drop in television viewership does not mean that no one is watching. On the contrary, many people still make it a priority to watch the Olympics.

“My family watched the Olympics every night. We spent two weeks eating dinner in front of the television to make sure we didn’t miss anything,” said Dimond Sophomore Kylie Judd.

Judd’s family is very athletic, with both Judd and her older sister playing soccer and competing in cross country running. Perhaps the interest in playing sports at home plays into the account of who watches the olympics and who does not.

However, Gina Parry, a local professional in Anchorage, commented, “the Olympics are the only sports we do watch at home.”

She and her husband are not interested in any sports, but to them, the Olympics are a special circumstance.

Age may also be a factor in whether people watch mostly television or online content.

Marketingcharts.com reports that over the last five years, television viewership of teens and millenials aged 12-34 has dropped by an average of 32 percent. Adults over the age of 65, on the other hand, have increased their television viewership by 5 percent over the last five years.

It may not matter whether Olympics are watched online or on television. Most people watched the events on some platform, and continually supported the Olympic Games.

The manner in which we watch events may be different, and may continue to change, but the spirit of the games remains the same.