Reality check: NBC U has generated some impressive Web traffic from the Olympic Games, but 99.7% of the actual viewing of the Games is still happening on TV.
This little reminder comes from Fox, which gave its own estimate of Olympic audiences to TVWeek. Their logic: as of Wednesday, NBC says it had served 22 million video streams of Olympic events, with an average stream of 9.5 minutes, meaning 210 million minutes of viewing time.
Based on Nielsen ratings, Fox estimates NBC’s coverage on broadcast and cable has yielded 63 billion viewer minutes — or 99.7% of total viewing time if you include both TV and the Web.
That’s a bit different from the numbers released by NBC U Wednesday, which added unique Web and TV viewers and noted that 90% of uniques were watching on TV only and 10% watching both on TV and online.
Why does Fox care? The network has the smallest Web audience of the Big Four broadcast networks and is the most vocal in arguing for the power of broadcast TV. What does it mean for NBC U? While the Web generates hits and is an important promotional engine, in the end they make their money from TV, not the Web.
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