Viewership of the London Olympics

By the NIA, Special for US Daily Review.

The National Inflation Association today released the results of its national survey of Americans who watched NBC’s coverage of the London Olympic Games. The survey focused on NBC’s multi-platform coverage of the 2012 London Summer Olympics, with NBC delivering over 100 million video streams including 45 million live video streams in just the first 10 days of the Olympics to nearly 10 million U.S. pay-TV subscribers who authenticated their laptops, desktops, iPads, and iPhones.

1,513 people responded to NIA’s survey from the evening of Friday August 10th through the morning of Sunday August 12th. 61.5% of the people who responded to NIA’s survey were pay-TV subscribers of a package that includes the channels CNBC and MSNBC, thereby giving them access rights to NBC’s Olympic TV Everywhere coverage. 39.7% of the people who responded to NIA’s survey reported that they successfully authenticated their Internet-connected devices for access.

Only the Americans who responded to NIA’s survey indicating that they had access rights and authenticated themselves for NBC’s Olympic TV Everywhere coverage were allowed to participate in the rest of NIA’s survey. 58.1% of those who authenticated themselves for access rated the TV Everywhere authentication process a 10, with 10 being the most easy/convenient and 1 being the most difficult/confusing. Only ½ of 1% of authenticated users rated the authentication process a 1.

77% of NBC’s Olympic TV Everywhere users recommended to their friends/family members that they also authenticate themselves to use the service.

When asked what motivated them to use NBC’s Olympic TV Everywhere service, the largest response came from 49% of users who wanted to watch the events live before they air on TV.

74% of NIA’s respondents indicated that TV Everywhere offerings like NBC’s Olympic TV Everywhere coverage will make them more likely to keep their pay-TV subscription in the future due to the value they receive at no additional cost. If NBC’s Olympic TV Everywhere coverage wasn’t free, 42.4% of users said they would pay at least $15 for access, with 13.5% of users saying they would pay $60 or more.

93.7% of users learned about TV Everywhere for the first time within the last 12 months, with 26.3% of users learning about TV Everywhere for the first time during the Olympics.

67.8% of users said that they feel TV Everywhere could offer a tremendous ground-floor investment opportunity. NIA recently purchased 2% of Synacor Inc., a publicly traded TV Everywhere services and solutions company that provided the TV Everywhere authentication technology used to authenticate the subscribers of approximately ½ of America’s top 25 largest multi-channel video programming distributors. NIA recently featured Synacor in its PDF report about the TV Everywhere industry and many survey respondents indicated that they are shareholders.

64.5% of respondents said that their pay-TV companies almost never advertise their TV Everywhere offerings, which NIA believes is the reason most U.S. pay-TV subscribers still have no idea that they have free access rights to many TV Everywhere services. 42.6% of respondents said that after using NBC’s Olympic TV Everywhere services, they plan to explore what other TV Everywhere services are available to them and begin using them right away.

The top 5 most popular TV Everywhere services previously used by respondents are FOX, HBO GO, CNN, WatchESPN, and TNT.

37.1% of respondents own an iPad. 45.2% of respondents who own an iPad have on more than one occasion watched live video streams on their iPad prior to the Olympics. 50.7% of respondents rated the quality of NBC’s iPad video steams a perfect 10 out of 10. 93.2% said they plan to watch live video streams on their iPads more often for now on because of the Olympics.

50.1% of respondents own an iPhone. 42.4% of respondents who own an iPhone have on more than one occasion watched live video streams on their iPhone prior to the Olympics. 50% of respondents rated the quality of NBC’s iPhone video steams a perfect 10 out of 10. 85% said they plan to watch live video streams on their iPhone more often for now on because of the Olympics.

The most popular web browsers used to watch NBC’s video streams on were Internet Explorer: 42.7%, Firefox 22.8%, Google Chrome 22.4%, and Apple Safari 10.6%.

Internet Explorer had the most technical problems with 20% of users saying their video pictures would freeze periodically, 5% of users complaining of choppy video streams, and 2% of users having audio problems. Users with technical problems were the minority and 77% of respondents who used Internet Explorer indicated that they had no technical issues at all.

Apple Safari had the least technical issues with 96.2% of users indicating no technical problems. 3.8% of Apple Safari users complained of choppy video streams

Firefox was the second best browser in terms of the least technical problems. 89.1% of Firefox users indicated that they had no technical issues at all. 5.5% complained of video pictures periodically freezing, 5.5% complained of choppy video streams, and 1.8% indicated that their video player crashed.

Google Chrome had the second most reported issues with 11.1% reporting that their video pictures would periodically freeze, 5.6% complaining of choppy video streams, 5.6% reporting that their video player within their browser crashed, 3.7% reporting audio problems, and 1.9% reporting that their web browser crashed.

NIA experienced the most success with Google Chrome and had no technical issues using the browser. When NIA used Internet Explorer on the first couple of days of the Olympics, the browser would often crash, but NBC fixed this problem by about the 3rd or 4th day. Firefox mostly worked fine for us, except for the video player within Firefox crashing on a couple of occasions. NIA did not test out Apple Safari on its own.

Most users were very satisfied with NBC’s TV Everywhere services provided on The only area that stands out as needing major improvement appears to be NBC’s placement of advertisements, with the average rating for NBC’s placement of ads being far below the average rating in other categories. The average rating given for the quality of NBC’s video streams using a laptop or desktop (10 best – 1 worst) was an 8.73. The average rating given for the functionality of NBC’s TV Everywhere web portal was an 8.81. The average rating given for NBC’s placement of advertisements and how it affected the user experience was a 7.4. The average rating given for the overall user experience on was an 8.62.

If NBC used a different type of advertising solution that was designed specifically for TV Everywhere, such as the one developed by Synacor, it is possible that the overall average rating for their TV Everywhere services could have exceeded a 9. Prior to the Olympics, the biggest concern was that users would have trouble authenticating. However, with Synacor’s single sign-on TV Everywhere authentication system being used to authenticate the subscribers of nearly 40 of the approximately 100 pay-TV companies providing access, including 12 of America’s 25 pay-TV companies with the most subscribers, users gave the authentication process an average rating of 9.16.

We will likely look back at the London Olympic Games as being the very beginning of the U.S. multi-platform revolution and TV Everywhere boom. NBC received a large amount of hate postings on Twitter, but they were almost entirely from cord-cutters and cord-shavers who were upset about not being able to access NBC’s online video streams. Clearly, these individuals regret that they canceled their pay-TV service, which is exactly what NBC’s parent company Comcast was trying to achieve. Comcast/NBC is smiling ear to ear about the Twitter #NBCFail postings from Americans outraged about their gall to require a pay-TV subscription.

NBC has proven that TV Everywhere is about to become the hottest new emerging market for U.S. consumers, with Americans set to rapidly embrace TV Everywhere platforms over the next 6-12 months like they first embraced social networking sites in year 2005. NIA expects TV Everywhere to be the most talked about emerging growth market for the remainder of 2012, with investors on Wall Street looking for ways to capitalize at the ground-floor.

The TV Everywhere industry’s growth rate over the next 5 years will likely be similar to the consumer social networking industry’s growth rate over the previous 5 years. Synacor last quarter reported 58% year-over-year revenue growth with 100% year-over-year growth in both net income and EBITDA. For comparison, Facebook only grew revenues last quarter by 32.3% with very disappointing year-over-year profit growth of only 3.5%.

Synacor’s General Manager of TV Everywhere before joining the company was Vice President of HBO Broadband where he led the development and launch of HBO GO, the second most widely used TV Everywhere service according to NIA’s survey. It was just announced on Friday that HBO GO has now surpassed Netflix for the longest viewing sessions across all mobile apps. 18.1% of respondents to NIA’s survey said that they are current Netflix subscribers but will consider canceling their Netflix subscription due to their pay-TV company’s brand new TV Everywhere offerings.

Synacor recently developed for one of their clients Charter Communications, the 4th largest cable TV company in the U.S., a TV Everywhere search feature that will also display results for videos found on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Videos. Features like this will allow consumers to see for themselves the true value of TV Everywhere and why Netflix is on the path towards becoming irrelevant.

TiVo has now announced their intentions to enter the TV Everywhere space. NIA believes that TiVo recognizes how TV Everywhere will soon make DVRs obsolete. For the time being while Americans still have a need for DVRs, Synacor recently developed and launched for the customers of Charter a new feature that provides the ability to remotely program their DVRs through Charter’s TV Everywhere web portal running off of Synacor’s industry leading TV Everywhere platform.

NBC is showing that it will respond to any fair criticism from viewers. Many of NBC’s authenticated TV Everywhere users complained about NBC not live streaming the opening ceremony of the Olympics. In response, NBC just announced that they will be live streaming the closing ceremony today at 4PMEDT exclusively to pay-TV subscribers who authenticate.

It should be interesting to see if NBC reports next week their total number of authenticated users throughout the full 16 days of the Olympics. NIA also looks forward to hearing from Synacor about the total number of consumers their TV Everywhere solutions authenticated for NBC. Comcast just announced the other day that the Olympics have far surpassed their highest expectations. Synacor wasn’t sure what to expect from the Olympics so they took the most conservative approach possible by excluding revenue from the Olympics in their 3Q guidance, which could mean that Wall Street has very low expectations and the company could have the potential to positively surprise in the near-future.

For detailed results of NIA’s NBC Olympic TV Everywhere survey please visit NIA’s homepage at:
PR Newswire (

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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