07/26/21: NBC’s saw viewership for the Olympic’s Opening Ceremony take a dip



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Medias First Morning Read


Monday July 26, 2021

We open with Olympics updates. NBC’s terrific presentation of the Tokyo Olympic Games opening ceremony delivered 16.7 million viewers to the company on the network in early numbers. With the event marred by a year-long delay, time zone challenges, cord cutting and a lack of live audiences, that score marks the smallest U.S. television audience for the event in the past 33 years, according to preliminary data from the company. Across all platforms, including NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app, 17 million people watched the ceremony, according to reports. The audience dipped 37% from 2016, when 26.5 million people (final ratings) watched the Rio de Janeiro Games opener, and 59% from 2012, when 40.7 million people watched the London ceremony. Subsequently, Saturday night’s primetime show recorded a Total Audience Delivery 8.2 household rating across NBC, USA Network, NBCSN and CNBC, rising 26% from Friday’s primetime Opening Ceremony rating (6.5), based upon data from Nielsen.

Meanwhile, NBCUniversal reports multiple streaming milestones on the opening Saturday of the Tokyo Olympics, with Peacock notching its most-consumed Saturday ever while NBC Sports Digital set the record for the most-streamed Olympics primetime show ever (summer or winter), scoring a record Average Minute Audience of 648,000 viewers, per Adobe Analytics. Through Saturday, viewers have streamed 371 million total minutes of Tokyo Olympics content – up 21% from the comparable time period for the 2016 Rio Olympics.


In addition, NBC Sports moved quickly to land ESPN’s Maria Taylor, who joined the company with the Tokyo Olympics after hosting the NBA Finals for her former employer. In addition to the Olympics, her roles will include the NFL, where she will serve as a host and contributor for Football Night in America and Super Bowls. “Maria has excelled in a wide range of roles at marquee events, and will be a powerful addition to our team. We are always looking to improve, and Maria is going to make us better. We are very excited for her to join us right away in Tokyo,” said Pete Bevacqua, Chairman, NBC Sports.

Telemundo Deportes, serving as the Spanish-language home of the Tokyo Olympics, unveiled its first multicamera virtual reality set for its Olympics coverage. The state-of-the-art set, along with a fully revamped sports studio, complements the extensive production that originates from Tokyo. The Tokyo Olympics VR studio, fully developed in-house by Telemundo’s virtual production services (VPS) team, features three cameras, augmented reality capabilities, live graphics and custom interfaces to help the production team to go on air.

Finally, NBC Olympics brought back the “Roundball Rock’ theme song for men’s and women’s basketball in Tokyo. The score, composed by John Tesh, served as the theme music for the NBA on NBC from 1990-2002.

A potential monster move in the making as reports suggest that The Universities of Texas and Oklahoma will announce their move to the SEC as early as today. The Austin American-Statesman writes that that a Big 12 source believed talks between the SEC and the two schools had been ongoing for more than six months, and ESPN writes that the move could become official in a matter of weeks. ESPN reported Thursday that both Texas and Oklahoma would likely owe the Big 12 upward of $76 million apiece to buy out the remainder of their grant of media rights agreement,

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World Wrestling Entertainment is bringing SummerSlam to movie theaters, courtesy of a new deal with Iconic Events Releasing. Stages at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, the Iconic presentation will be shown in theaters in 33 states on Aug. 21 in a live broadcast beginning at 8p, and marks the first time that SummerSlam will be seen in cinematic venues.

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The Cleveland Indians will be no more at the end of the MLB season, announcing a name change for the club to the Cleveland Guardians. The decision marks the fifth name in franchise history, although the current team colors will remain. “We are excited to usher in the next era of the deep history of baseball in Cleveland,” Team Owner and Chairman Paul Dolan said in the announcement. “Cleveland has and always will be the most important part of our identity. Therefore, we wanted a name that strongly represents the pride, resiliency and loyalty of Clevelanders. ‘Guardians’ reflects those attributes that define us while drawing on the iconic Guardians of Traffic just outside the ballpark on the Hope Memorial Bridge. It brings to life the pride Clevelanders take in our city and the way we fight together for all who choose to be part of the Cleveland baseball family. While ‘Indians’ will always be a part of our history, our new name will help unify our fans and city as we are all Cleveland Guardians.”

Grubhub ordered up its first major sports partnership, locking in a deal to become the official food delivery partner of the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup, and serving up content and event integrations spotlighting the Grubhub Guarantee. The company’s latest feature promises on-time delivery and the lowest price relative to competitors. In addition to in-stadium signage, the partnership will include integrations into the tournament’s pre- and post-game series, a takeover of the Gold Cup’s “Unbeatable Delivery of the Day,” and more.

Prudential Financial is taking on the Olympics by asking, “Who’s Your Rock?” That theme debuts in the company’s newest spot that debuted during the NBC broadcast of the opening ceremonies of the Tokyo Olympics, and will be backed by an international campaign that “re-establishes the company’s iconic Rock, a symbol of financial strength and resilience.” The symbol was first introduced in its advertising 125 years ago. Prudential is also sponsoring the USA Climbing team as the sport makes its debut at this year’s games. “The Rock symbolizes our purpose of making lives better by solving people’s financial challenges. It’s the force that propels us forward to focus on customer needs, and to drive growth for our clients, employees, and investors,” says Andy Sullivan, head of Prudential’s U.S. Businesses.

Streaming services have grown exponentially in the last year. How have you engaged viewers with your content, improved addressable advertising, or made changes to reporting and analytics? We want to recognize all the innovation happening behind the scenes. Share your story and submit your entry for the Cynopsis’ 9th Annual Model D + It List awards. Submissions are due in ONE WEEK to save $150. Start your entry now>>


Bally’s signed a five-year partnership with Sportradar that will allow the company’s gambling platforms to have access to Sportradar’s sportsbook tech and data. Sportradar will provide pregame and in-game odds for Bally’s, as well as additional assets that include stats packages and live score widgets. “This partnership provides us with a comprehensive suite of betting data, which will allow us to enhance our products and content offerings,” Adi Dhandhania, Bally’s Corp.’s senior vice president of strategy and interactive, said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing to execute on our online sports betting and interactive gaming expansion strategy.”

Facebook unveiled its touchpoints for the Olympic Games, rolling out features across Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp to help people discover content and cheer their teams. Facebook is serving as an info hub, offering highlights from official Olympic broadcast partners, team and athlete overviews, explainers of competitions new to the Games, Olympic history, as well as posts from friends and more. Instagram will leverage augmented reality effects. Finally, leveraging the WhatsApp Business API, the chatbot will share the Olympic schedule, tune-in information for local broadcasts of the Games around the world, and the latest news and medal standings.


100 Thieves continues to go up-scale, adding Lexus as the team’s first luxury auto partner, days after unveiling a clothing collaboration with Gucci. The 100 Thieves content house will be renamed the Lexus Content House, with Valkyae and Fuslie serving as Lexus ambassadors. “Since 1989, Lexus has been committed to be the visionary brand that anticipates the future for luxury customers. Honored to have Lexus as the official sponsor of the content house,” the organization said in a tweet.

ESL Pro League finalized the list of teams who will be competing in season 14. Squads include Gambit, Heroic, Virtus Pro, BIG, FURIA, Team Spirit, and OG. That will join Natus Vincere, G2, Astralis, Ninjas in Pyjamas, FaZe Clan, Complexity, Vitality, Team Liquid, mousesports, Evil Geniuses, Entropiq, Renegades, ENCE, Bad News Bears, Sinners, Team oNe, and Fnatic as competitors this year.

Tencent Games revealed the map to the PUBG Mobile Global Championship 2021 during the World Invitational, running Nov. 2021 to January 2022 and offer a prize pool of $6 million with the PMGC 2021 split into the league and final stages.

Red Bull signed on as a partner to join the VALORANT Champions Tour EMEA. There, Red Bull will present the top clutch moments to fans during Challengers Stage 3, the EMEA Playoffs and Last Chance Qualifiers. “We are delighted to expand the collaboration with one of our global partners of VCT to bring even more exciting content to Europe, Turkey and CIS.” says Zeynep Gencaga, Senior Manager, Business Development and Partnerships Europe and MENA. “Red Bull has been in the scene since the start of VCT and will now also be an official supplier for VCT EMEA. We look forward to more competitive and thrilling plays in the segment Red Bull Clutch Moments.”


FanDuel Group hired Brian Borkowski as Senior Vice President, Marketing. Joining from Hulu, he will be charged with overseeing media, customer acquisition, and lifecycle marketing. He will report to FanDuel Group CMO Mike Raffensperger.

And the honorees are…


See the full list of Cynopsis Top Women in Media honorees and join us for a special in-person Awards Gala October 27 in NYC. We’ll be recognizing and toasting the individual leaders and distinguished companies moving our industry forward. Secure a table for your team before it sells out.


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1952: Mickey Mantle hits his first grand slam.

Other than the two names listed above, what other names has Cleveland’s baseball franchise officially been known by? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city).

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question
Which musical group made headlines for reuniting at the closing ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics? Answer: The Spice Girls. Kudos: Phyllis McQuillan-MSG Networks/NY; Traci Liner-Initiative/NY; Michael Ritz-Lenox Advisors/NY; Luke Watson-Entertaining Concepts/NY; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Roger Furman0Sports Marketing Communications/Greentown; John Kukla-KDFW/KDFI/Dallas-Fort Worth; Greg Moloznik-GLM Media/Scottsdale; David Westberg-SAG•AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank; Lorrie Shilling/El Segundo; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions.LA; Tom Tyrer-Circle Change Media/Santa Barbara

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