The 2016 Summer Olympics are just a few weeks away, and it looks like the TV-friendly time zone of the host city, Rio de Janeiro, will pay big dividends for NBC.
With Rio just one hour ahead of the East Coast, NBC Sports executives have consistently said these games will feature the most live coverage for any Olympics that NBC has been a part of. Despite the digitally-charged media ecosystem that NBC finds itself entrenched in—for the third Olympics in row, NBC will offer every event outside of the opening ceremonies live for digital consumption— it appears that at least one audience demographic is ready to watch the games the old fashioned way, and it's not one most would've expected.
Influenster, whose 2 million members are comprised mostly of millennial women, surveyed 3,992 women around the age of 25 to find out their viewing habits for the upcoming games. The product discovery and reviews platform found that the overwhelming majority of millennial women that plan to watch the Olympics will do so in front of the television (75 percent) instead of livestreaming the competition (18 percent). Overall, more than half (54 percent) of millennial women surveyed are planning to watch any coverage from Rio.
Airing on a tape delay hasn't hampered NBC's ability to pull in gigantic ratings—NBC averaged north of 30 million viewers for its primetime coverage from London in 2012. In fact, Jim Bell, NBC's executive producer for its Olympics coverage, has argued that the decision to make every sport live on a digital platform has actually increased TV viewership. "By providing more content you got more viewers and more interest, it was the rising tide that lifted all boats," he said during a Paley Center for Media event last month.
But for NBC, being able to have big-ticket Olympic sports like swimming, diving, track and field, beach volleyball and gymnastics airing in the moment instead of on a delay should only further boost viewership. It should come as no surprise then that many of the American athletes that millennial women are most aware of, or at least the ones they follow on social media, participate in those major events.
Of the 57 percent of those who took part in the survey, Michael Phelps (15 percent) and Gabby Douglas (14 percent) were the top two U.S. athletes followed. Serena Williams (13 percent), Ryan Lochte (7 percent) and Kevin Durant (7 percent) rounded out the top five. Despite the buzz for Olympics newcomer Simone Biles, only 2 percent of millennial women said they followed her on social media.
Though social media is the main source of news for many millennials, more women are planning to use television (68 percent) over social (63 percent) to stay updated on the games. Of those that plan to use social media, Facebook leads the way with 67 percent, followed by Instagram (51 percent) and Twitter (41 percent). Only 37 percent said they plan on using Snapchat, despite its partnership with NBC.
You can find more from Influenster in the infographic below: