‘Broadcast rules,’ says Fox

By Cory Bergman 

A lot has been written in the last few days about the “total audience” stats of NBCU’s coverage of the Olympics. TVbytheNumbers.com ran the numbers and looked at viewing time, not uniques:

“While I applaud NBC for rolling out its Total Audience Measurement Index (TAMi), it’s confusing some of the knuckleheads in the press who conclude from it that a greater percentage of people are watching online than actually are…. There are some who would conclude from those numbers that 92% of the viewing of events occurs on television. But when you see the minutes for the actual streams (which actually are very impressive numbers for the Internet) it’s more like 99.5% of the viewing of the Summer Games is coming from television.”

Actually, it’s 99.7%, according to Fox, which took the opportunity to put out a press release reinforcing the value of TV. “Bottom line? Broadcast rules,” Fox says. TV remains the big game in town, that’s for sure, but it’s worth noting that the Olympic Games (and other big sporting events) are certainly different than primetime shows, which are increasingly watched online.