Olympic trials pique viewer interest in Tokyo Summer Games

Amid all the back-and-forth about the feasibility of holding the Tokyo Olympics during the pandemic, there are early indications of viewer interest in the summer games

Japan Olympics Tokyo 2020
Japan Olympics Tokyo 2020

Amid all the back-and-forth about the feasibility of holding the Tokyo Olympics during the pandemic, there are early indications of viewer interest in the summer games.

U.S. Olympic team trials in swimming and track and field that aired Sunday on NBC fell short of gold-medal ratings but won enough viewers to edge into the top 20, according to Nielsen figures released Tuesday.

NBC’s coverage of the trials to date is down 26% compared to viewership for comparable Olympic trials in 2016 on the network. Basketball and hockey playoffs are one potential reason: It’s the first time the NBA and NHL events have overlapped with the trials.

The NBA playoffs accounted for a lion's share of the most popular shows last week and helped make TNT the most-watched outlet on cable or broadcast.

The Olympics, delayed by a year because of COVID-19, will be held held July 23 to Aug. 8 despite widespread concerns from the Japanese public and medical community. The Olympics and the Paralympics combined will bring nearly 100,000 athletes and others into the country that has a low vaccination rate.

NBC was the most-watched network last week in prime-time, with an average of 3.2 million viewers. CBS had 2.7 million viewers, ABC had 2.67 million, Fox had 1.45 million, Univision had 1.3 million, Ion Television had 1 million and Telemundo had 950,000.

TNT handily led the cable networks with an average of 3.49 million viewers. Fox News Channel had 2.14 million, ESPN had 1.65 million, MSNBC had 1.19 million and HGTV had 1.15 million.

ABC’s “World News Tonight” led the evening news ratings competition, averaging 7.7 million viewers last week. The “NBC Nightly News” had 6.3 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 4.7 million.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in