NBC and Sochi 2014

Sochi 2014 Stock photo

Image from: Sochi 2014 / Shutterstock

The 2014 Winter Olympics brought a lot of excitement to the world this February with Russia hosting for the second time in Olympic history.

With the Games taking place 9-12 hours ahead of American time zones, sports fans were increasingly looking to video streaming and live updates to stay in the loop. NBC recognized the need and expanded Olympic coverage, providing multiple opportunities for fans to keep up with all the Sochi action (this meant apps, live streaming sites, television coverage, etc).

Sochi vs London Olympics UVs

NBC logged its largest primetime victory in network history within the first week of the Sochi Olympic Games.  Compete PRO can help us see the huge US Olympic following on NBC’s Olympic site, nbcolympics.com. For this particular domain, the 2014 Winter Olympics received about one million more U.S based Unique Visitors than the London Summer Olympics of 2012. In the month of February, nbcolympics.com received over 18 million Unique Visitors and almost 300 million page views from a predominantly male audience. As you can see from the Compete PRO graph below, about 58% of visitors to nbcolympics.com were males, with only 41% being female.

Demographics By Gender NBC Olympics Feb 2014

With both televised and online coverage, NBC provided for those who didn’t have constant, day-long access to a television — but also didn’t want to miss a minute of the action in Sochi.

NBC’s Olympic subdomain for live streaming (stream.nbcolympics.com) had over 7 million Unique Visitors in February. This was a smart move on NBC’s part, as attention and time spent on domain URLs provide great opportunities for advertisers and partners. Daily Attention – or a percentage measuring the total time spent on nbcolympics.com in relation to total time spent on the internet, per day — specifically reached an all-time high for the month of Feburary on the 8th , the first full day of Sochi 2014 (kicking off women’s hockey, team figure skating, and men’s speed skating, to name a few). Whether it was watching a live stream, researching athletes, or watching videos of the opening ceremony, Olympic fans spent the most time on NBC’s Olympic webpage right from the beginning.

Daily Reach and Attention NBC Olympics Feb 2014

Another action-packed day of online Sochi action was February 10th, which featured some of the most popular sports such as Apline skiing, freestyle skiing, snowboarding and speed skating. The popularity of these winter sports helped with the site’s spike in reaching the largest audience on that specific day.  Daily Reach (percentage of visitors to a site compared to all visitors to the internet in a given day) for nbcolympics.com spiked up to 0.96%, blowing every other day of the month away by at least 0.27%.

The website ranked 75th on Compete PRO’s top ranked sites list for the month of February for Unique Visitors, outranking popular sites such as nytimes.com, usatoday.com, and cbs.com.  NBC did a great job in providing a wide array of web channels for fans to be a part of all of the Sochi 2014 action—even with the drastic time differences. An important part of being a competitor in the network broadcasting industry is being able to adapt to the ever-changing demands of our society — we want a constant supply of information and can be impatient when it comes to obtaining it! NBC was responsive to our ever-changing needs and adjusted their media outlets to fit a digital world.

What’s coming up next? I’m looking forward to what’s coming in 2016 for NBC’s Rio coverage! Stay tuned until then.

About Alison Shafer:
Alison Shafer is a Customer Success Manager at Millward Brown Digital. She has a degree in Marketing and Communications from Syracuse University and has worked in various marketing roles since graduating in 2011. Find her on LinkedIn or Google+!