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NBCU Touts New Metrics for Ads During Olympic Games

February 15, 2022

This article was originally published by Next TV.

NBCUniversal, which has been active in the search for alternatives to Nielsen for audience measurement, is touting some metrics that could encourage its Olympic advertisers.

The fancy metrics show that NBC’s coverage of the Beijing Winter Olympics has fewer commercials and that those commercials are working hard, the kind of data NBCU believes is important to companies writing big checks to sponsor the games.

The traditional counting of total viewers, even using NBCU’s Total Audience Delivery metric combining data from Nielsen and Oracle to capture all TV audiences, pointed to a 43% drop in viewing, compared to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics four years ago.

At a time when ratings are falling and cord-cutting is rampant, the decline is not a big surprise.

But according to one of the newer measurement companies NBCU is working with, iSpot.TV, Olympic primetime programming has a 14% lighter ad load than other primetime shows. At the same time, the Olympics are delivering 247% more ad impressions per unit than the three other big broadcast networks.

Those commercials are being watched all the way through. iSpot, which measures ads on a second-second basis, is telling NBCU that commercials within the Olympics have a 98% completion rate. That translates into a 13% lower ad interruption rate than ads on all TV programming.

iSpot also said the top-performing ad pod on February 4 happened at 9:41 p.m. ET as skater Karen Chen was getting off the ice. The ad most liked by consumers was for Delta.

The Olympics had a 23.01% share of voice on February 5, despite competition from the NHL All-Star Game, a Duke-North Carolina college basketball game, and an NBA game featuring LeBron James’ return after an injury. The Olympics nearly doubled the No. 2 telecast in terms of share of voice.

Data from two other measurement companies, Phoenix and EDO showed that for Olympic advertisers, brand recall and message memorability were up 53% and 70% versus norms for broadcast and cable ads.

Ad likeability was 88% higher than norms and there was a 39% greater likelihood to search for brands that advertisers in the primetime Opening Ceremony. During the Tokyo Olympics, the likelihood to search was 20% higher and in Korea it was 32% higher, according to EDO.

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