The performance was the lowest-rated Summer Games kickoff since the 2004 opening ceremony in Athens. This year’s event showcased a variety of Brazilian musical genres, from samba and bossa nova to the regional folk styles of the Northeast, and a commentary on climate change that showed the coasts of several countries being eroded by rising seas.
NBC executives are counting on ratings to increase when viewing on digital video recorders and online consumption are factored in.
“To expect the same pure television consumption four years removed from London just isn’t logical, but overall consumption is at or above our expectations,” said NBC Sports spokesman Greg Hughes. A comparison to London, he said, is “apples to oranges” given changing media viewing habits.
Comcast’s CMCSA, +0.31% NBCUniversal media unit has invested heavily to secure all U.S. media rights for the Olympics through 2032, including $1.2 billion for the Rio Games. The company said last week it had sold over $1.2 billion in national ads ahead of Rio, buoyed by more live programming.
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