Rio 2016

SAM Study: One-Third of Americans Would Watch Olympics On Netflix If They Could

Ahead of the 2016 summer games, Snell Advanced Media (SAM), found that almost one in three Americans (31%) would like to watch the Olympics on Netflix if it was available to them, though more than half of Americans (56%) will watch at home via their live cable or satellite TV this year. According to SAMS, given the openness of American viewers to accessing Olympic content on multiple platforms, broadcasters must look to capture viewers’ attention through new technologies and formats such as 4K and HDR content.


sam logoThe study, conducted with third-party research firm YouGov, revealed not only the varied channels American viewers would like to see Olympic content expanded to, but which events broadcasters should focus on delivering 4K content around now and in the future.

“Marathoning” the Olympics
More than 28M Americans (19%) will watch more than 10 hours of Olympics coverage this year. Americans indicated sports in general are important for them to view live, with nearly 45% likely to watch a championship or final sports game live; almost double that of those likely to watch an awards show live (25%).

However, nearly half of Americans (48%) are unsure of how much Olympics coverage they will watch this year, indicating NBC and its affiliates must do more to promote long-term viewing

Cutting the Cord
As broadcast trends shift towards more OTT delivered content, cord-cutting Americans want options for accessing Olympics content. To further capture attention, Olympic broadcasters should consider expanding the availability of content. If available to them, one-third (31%) would like to watch on Netflix, one in six (17%) would like to watch on Amazon, one in seven (15%) would like to watch on a dedicated streaming channel (Apple TV, Roku, etc.), one in eight (13%) would like to watch on Hulu, one in ten (10%) would like to watch on HBOGo.

“As part of SAM’s overall strategy, it’s critical we regularly survey consumer sentiment to ensure we stay ahead of the technology curve,” says Neil Maycock, EVP & General Manager, Media Software Solutions at SAM.“It was evident in our research that the Olympics have captured the excitement of Americans. Consumers want additional viewing options and broadcasters can’t deny the changing climate– especially compared to the landscape during the previous games in London. With more opportunity to access live content, OTT services, and mobile video than four years ago, Americans need to see broadcasters willing and able to adapt to the new normal.”

Seeing Gold in 4K – After much speculation, Americans with 4K ready TVs will have the ability to watch their hometown heroes win gold in 4K – but only for select events and sports. The top 5 Olympic events Americans want to watch live are the opening ceremony (46%), gymnastics (38%), closing ceremony (38%), swimming (33%), track & field (23%).

“For a long time it seemed Americans wouldn’t have access to any 4K content during this year’s summer games,” Maycock adds. “However, NBC was able to work up a solution and will now be offering select events in ultra-high definition. With such a global stage and all eyes towards American broadcasters at one point, showing viewers and the rest of the world that we’re ready to play in such a sophisticated format is the right move. With 4K during the Olympics, they are capturing viewer’s attention and paving the way towards taking the next step in navigating this new media landscape all over the world.”

Research Methodology
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,146 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between June 2nd – 3rd, 2016. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+). The 28 million adults figure was calculated by Diffusion PR based on the 18+ population of the US multiplied by the proportion of respondents who plan to watch more than 10 hours of the 2016 Olympics.

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