Sharp drop in NBC's ratings for Rio opening ceremony

AP News
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Posted: Aug 06, 2016 6:23 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — The Olympic opening ceremony was seen by an estimated 26.5 million viewers in the United States, a sharp 35 percent drop from the audience who watched the pageantry from London four years ago.

NBC said Saturday that some of that difference will be made up when streaming and time-shifted viewership is figured in. But still, it's an early warning sign that the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro may not be the smash success of the London Games.

One of NBC's pre-games fears came true: U.S. viewership dropped off following the entrance of the United States team in the Parade of Nations. And, because the Portuguese alphabet was being used, the team came much earlier in the parade than normal.

NBC also received many social media complaints about too many commercial breaks early in the broadcast.