Sources: NBCU lowers TV ratings expectations for Beijing

NBCUniversal is "slashing its TV ratings expectations" for the Beijing Games by "as much as half," according to three senior marketing sources cited by Claire Atkinson of BUSINESS INSIDER. One media agency exec said that ad agencies are being told to "expect a six rating at Beijing -- half what the audience guarantees were" for the '18 Pyeongchang Games. Two others "confirmed that rating figure was in the ballpark." Atkinson notes four years ago, the Winter Games "averaged 19.8 million viewers per night" across NBC's networks. NBCU retooled its estimates after "pushback from marketing partners disappointed with the ratings" of the Tokyo Games. One ad exec said that NBCU was "under pressure to reduce its ratings expectations rather than face the possibility of having to give advertisers make-good ads," as the company "reportedly had to do after Tokyo, when it had its lowest Summer Olympics ratings ever." Even with smaller ratings expectations, NBCU's Olympics properties "will deliver some of the biggest draws in TV and in streaming over an almost three-week period." NBCU also has been working to "ensure that TV ratings aren't the only metric viewership is measured by." The company said that it would "report Nielsen and iSpot reach alongside such things as brand impact, social platform data, and streaming and digital engagement metrics" (BUSINESS INSIDER, 1/21).

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