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Beijing 2022 Attracts Niche Audiences

Shaun White, Super Bowl Effect Spike Interest

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Social Media
March 31, 2022
 min read

Thousands of international athletes descended upon China last month with Gold Medal aspirations at the Beijing Winter Olympics. For the second time in as many decades, the sporting world was set to turn its gaze upon the region for two weeks of fierce competition culminating in lifelong dreams being realized atop podiums with national anthems serving as the soundtrack. MVP endeavored to determine primetime audience trends from Beijing 2022 and the top social story during the Games, so we used our broadcast and social platforms to compile a comprehensive analysis detailing viewership totals and DMA breakdowns for each night of NBC’s coverage, while also highlighting the last run for an American snowboarding legend. Our latest report explains which sports garnered the most television interest, the impact of a Super lead-in, and fanfare surrounding Shaun White’s final Olympic event, among other insights.

Winter Games Earn Icy Reception

Significant global changes have taken effect since the Chinese capital hosted the Summer Games in 2008, and their impacts as well as personal habits seemingly affected interest in this year’s Winter Games. Despite a host of heartwarming American stories – from Nathan Chen earning men’s figure skating Gold to Erin Jackson besting her speed skating competition to become the first Black woman to win an individual Gold at the Winter Olympics — NBC attracted an average nightly audience of only 11.6 million viewers for its primetime coverage. 

Nevertheless, MVP was able to isolate key viewership insights useful for informing advertisers and partners how to gain the most from their broadcast exposure during future televised winter sporting events. Our broad breakdown provides quarter-hourly viewership totals for each primetime broadcast on NBC and a regional analysis showcasing a United States heat map categorized by peak interest by sport. We have also contextualized the spike in viewers following the conclusion of Super Bowl LVI and how crossover appeal plays a role in audience size.

Finally, our report shines a social spotlight on three-time Olympic Gold Medalist Shaun White, who finished fourth in his final snowboarding halfpipe event at the Games. A close examination of social media chatter reveals storylines can sometimes trump results, as proven by the wide variance in unique users who posted about the event, mentions, and impressions as they related to each of the top four finishers. Follow the instructions below to gain access to all our valuable broadcast and social conclusions from the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

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