Cable Operators

NBCU: Pay-TV Users Watching London Olympics On 6.2M Devices

8/03/2012 1:49 PM Eastern

Touting an Olympic record for its TV Everywhere initiative so far, NBCUniversal has already delivered 34 million live streams from the 2012 London Summer Games through Aug. 2 -- more than the entire Beijing Olympics in 2008 -- and said that cable, satellite and telco TV subscribers have registered 6.2 million devices to log into the coverage.

The surge comes despite some consumer complaints that most of NBCU's online and mobile video coverage forces viewers to have a pay-TV subscription.

NBC Olympics Live Extra tablet appAcross the programmer's online, mobile and tablet platforms -- NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Olympics Live Extra and NBC Olympics apps -- there have been 75 million total video streams, up 182% over the 26.5 million for Beijing through the same period. During the entire 2008 Games, NBCU served 75.5 million total streams.

NBC Olympics' digital properties have garnered 744 million page views through Thursday, 160 million more than the 583.1 million for Beijing to this point in the Games. The mobile apps have been downloaded more than 6 million times, NBCU said.

Cable, satellite and telco TV customers have verified 6.2 million devices either on NBCOlympics.com or on the NBC Olympics Live Extra app, which NBCU said it believes is the most device verifications ever for a single TV Everywhere event. The service is available to about 98% of the 100 million pay-TV households in the U.S.

"We believed heading into these Games that if we could surround the consumer with as many touch points as possible -- such as live streaming every athletic competition online, on mobile and on tablet -- then we could increase consumption and engagement, not only on digital, but on television as well," NBC Olympics president Gary Zenkel said in a statement.

Online and mobile Olympics viewers are averaging 85 streaming minutes on the Web and 58 minutes on the app, according to NBCU.

NBCU's 34 million live streams from London are more than four times the 7.9 million streams for Beijing through the first week, and nearly three times the 2008 games' 14 million live streams, the company said. That amounts to 6.3 million hours of live video for 2012 versus 1.4 million hours in Beijing through the same period; in 2008, NBCU served 4.0 million hours for the full run.

Five Olympic events so far have surpassed 1 million live streams -- four of which were available only to pay-TV subscribers.

No. 1 was Tuesday's women's gymnastics team gold medal final (1,462,834), in which Team USA won gold. That was followed by Thursday's swimming coverage in which Michael Phelps won gold in the men's 200 IM, with 1,192,812 streams, which was the only event in the top five available non-pay-TV subscribers.

The next three events were: American gymnast Gabby Douglas winning the women's all-around gold medal (1,096,319); Monday's men's gymnastics team gold medal final (1,067,679); and Tuesday's swimming gold medal final in which Phelps became the most-decorated Olympian of all time (1,010,416).