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Air more live Olympic TV, USA TODAY/Gallup poll shows

9:43 PM, Aug 6, 2012   |    comments
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General view of the Olympic rings in victory park at athletes village. (Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports via US PRESSWIRE)

When it comes to NBC's taped London Olympic coverage, most Americans don't make an effort one way or the other to avoid or seek out event results.

Only 12% say they would handle the broadcast the way NBC is doing it. Another 17% say they would prefer having results broadcast live during the day instead of on tape delay at night. And the majority want both - live during the day and tape-delayed at night.

Among viewers watching the Games, just 20% say they try to avoid learning event results before seeing taped coverage. More viewers - 25% - actually try to find out results, while the majority of viewers don't care: 52% don't make an effort either way, while 3% have no opinion.

Says Greg Hughes, NBC senior vice president/communications: "More than 200 million Americans, about two-thirds of the country, has watched a portion of the 2012 Olympics on the TV networks of NBCUniversal. It's already among the five most-watched television events ever in America. Our goal is to provide enough options on television and online to satisfy as many people as possible."

According to the national Gallup Daily tracking survey done by phone with 1,082 U.S. adults and taken Aug. 4-5, 59% would like NBC to air daytime events live and and then re-air them in primetime, with another 12% having no opinion. (The survey has a margin of error of plus/minus 4%.)

So why doesn't NBC simply air key event footage live in U.S. daytime and then simply keep including it in its prime-time coverage?

One problem is that once that footage aired, it might end up all over the Internet for hours before NBC's primetime, which generates more than 80% of NBC's London Olympic ad revenues.

Traditionally, the Olympics are the only major sports event that attracts audiences that are majority-female. The survey suggests that's happening with NBC's London coverage, as 43% of women say they are watching a lot, while just 36% of men say so and only 30% of unmarried men.

The Olympics are also historically considered valuable programming because the audiences are relatively affluent and educated. In the survey, only 28% of those with no college say they are watching a lot and only 25% of those with monthly household incomes under $2,000 say that. Among college grads, 49% are watching a lot; among those with monthly household incomes of $5,000 and above, 54% are watching a lot.

 

By Michael Hiestand, USA TODAY

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