Over the first eight days of its coverage of the 2012 London Olympics, Telemundo Media doubled its total viewership over the 2008 Beijing Games. Telemundo's Olympic broadcasts delivered a total cumulative viewership of 13.8 million viewers, a 22% increase over Beijing through the same time period.
Jorge Hidalgo, senior executive vice president, Telemundo Network Sports, in a phone interview from London, said the Spanish-language broadcaster is presenting an Olympic experience for Hispanics based on "your team, your athletes" that varies from NBC's general-market approach.
"NBC does a great job, but Telemundo has been all around the sports, athletes, teams that Hispanics have high-interest in and that is making all the difference," he said. "We've doubled our viewership over the first eight days in Beijing."
The coverage -- there will be 173.5 hours in all before the London Games conclude, about 10 more than from Beijing -- has placed much emphasis on such marquee boxing, swimming, basketball and soccer.
The first weekend from London was particularly strong. On Saturday, July 28 and Sunday, July 29, Telemundo was the most-viewed Spanish-language network, far outpacing Univision. The July 28 coverage from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) averaged 854,000 viewers, while Telemundo scored 775,000 viewers the following day from 7 a.m.-6 p.m.
The August 4 broadcast of the Mexico-Senegal quarterfinal soccer quarterfinal soccer match drew 1.3 million viewers, including 817,000 persons 18 to 49. Telemundo's coverage of the match scored a 99% share of Spanish-language television in Los Angeles; 91% in San Francisco; 87% in New York; 83% in Dallas, and 76% in Houston.
"I've been in this business 32 years, I've never seen anything like that," said Hidalgo about the share in Los Angeles. "That's absolutely crazy."
Mexico-Senegal wasn't even Telemundo's top Olympic audience: the Brazil-Honduras quarterfinal garnered 1.4 million watchers that same day.
That sets things up well for the Mexico, which topped Japan, and Brazil, which beat South Korea, when the sides meet in the gold-medal final on Aug. 11 at 10 a.m. (ET) from famed Wembley Stadium. "Everybody's going to be watching that one," said Hidalgo.
Telemundo Media's digital properties also posted strong results with 706,000 visitors from July 25 to Aug 4, resulting in 841,000 total visits, 324% more than Beijing. There were 999,000 video streams, 556% more than from the quadrennium in China and 8.6 million page views, a 288% jump from four years ago.
"It's been a complete Olympic experience for Hispanics. With 1 million streams, we're already six times more than in Beijing," said Hidalgo.