Thanks to the Olympics, NBC snags the top of the podium for live streaming

Michelle Clancy | 07-08-2012

Ten days into the event, NBCUniversal has delivered 102.6 million total online video streams for the London 2012 Olympic Games, with 45 million of those video streams being live. That makes it the largest success to date for live event streaming in the United States.

That's up from just 75.5 million total video streams four years ago across the entirety of the Beijing Olympic Games, which included 14 million live streams.

NBCU is making the digital distribution strategy an extension of the industry's TV Everywhere initiative, and has authenticated a total of 7.6 million cable, satellite and telco subscribers, with 1.4 million pay-TV subscribers having been authenticated over the past three days alone.

The National Inflation Association noted that Netflix has claimed the biggest chunk of Internet data consumption in recent history, accounting for just under a third (32%) of net resources. Yet as RTVN reported previously, after just a week of the Games NBC's Olympic 'TV Everywhere' coverage is in gold medal position, peaking at 34% of total bandwidth across major US networks nationwide, with Netflix slumping to 25%.

The performance is been seeing as adding to vindication of the broadcaster's $1.3 billion expenditure on broadcasting the London Olympic Games, our editor reported. However, there is some way to go in the monetisation stakes: NIA calculates that live sports programming currently accounts for a fifth of programming hours consumed in U.S. households but the combined costs of national and regional sports networks now make up half of the cost of the average U.S. cable bill.

The Olympics have been a big success for digital distribution in Canada as well, where the Olympic Broadcast Consortium reports that its digital platforms, including and, have received nearly 90 million page views so far--up 10% over the same time period during Vancouver 2010. About 25% of all video views, which total more than 10 million combined, are live video streams.