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It’s not too late to review the NBC Olympic rugby cable television results from this summer’s Rio Olympics.
Since rugby sevens made its Olympic debut, there are no comparisons with past benchmarks. Overall, NBC offered 10.5 hours of Men’s rugby coverage with an average of 0.42 house hold ratings and 659,000 viewers. This represented six-percent off the mean of the total Games’ NBCU Cable performance of 0.44 households, and 701,000 viewers.
But during the Thursday Men’s rugby medal rounds, NBCSN scored an impressive 0.85 rating and 1.37 million viewers more than 25% higher than total network Olympic coverage. Considering that the USA were not in the semi-finals, this significant result was achieved by a combination of three variables: (1) American rugby fans eager to see the first Olympic sevens final, (2) ex-pat Brits turning in to see Great Britain battle Fiji for the gold, and (3) the exciting publicity generated by the Fijians in their lead up to the final game.
Finally, the USA and CNBC networks also showed higher weekday rugby averages than the Rio total average.
In its Olympic debut, rugby generated decent viewership numbers.