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Streaming May Bring Home Gold at the Summer Olympics

CTV and the Olympics - Blog Header

The Summer Olympics are on the horizon, but will viewers care? And will those who tune in stream one of the 32 events rather than watch them on linear TV? 

Yes and yes — and you’ll want to meet CTV viewers on their terms.

Sports fans will go out of their way to stream compelling content. Consider that a record 23 million people tuned into Peacock to capture the Chiefs vs Dolphins NFL playoff game in January — and it’s safe to assume that quite a few of the viewers weren’t regular subscribers. NBC refused to share subscriber numbers but said there were “16.3 million concurrent devices,” up six percent from their 2023 playoff game telecast.

Sports streaming has only accelerated since 2021. “The Sports Online Live Video Streaming market size is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 21% during the forecast year from 2021 to 2027,” according to Research and Markets. One impending indicator: this year’s March Madness.

Simplifying Streaming the Summer Games

Still, the Olympics are different from the NFL or college hoops. Despite the low linear ratings in Tokyo 2021, game streaming was at an all-time high. The Tokyo Olympics were uniquely challenging for a few reasons — the 13-hour time difference, the lingering Covid-19 pandemic and, of course, changing consumer viewing habits. 

Unlike Tokyo, which suffered an inventory shortage, NBC has pledged a better experience and tweaks to its fee-based Peacock service. And if that’s not enough, NBCUniversal is rolling out Snoop Dogg to provide reports on its primetime show.

Advertisers have noted that the 2024 Olympics will be a high-viewership event, as outlets report half of NBCUniversal’s ad inventory was sold by October. Plus, with the games on streaming, advertisers can take advantage of the advanced capabilities CTV offers — including robust reach and measurement.

The People-Based CTV Difference

But the success of your reach and measurement during the Paris Olympic games depends on your technology partner. 

For example, a cookie-based partner will run into limitations reaching target audiences and measuring campaign impact given CTV is a cookieless channel. The result? Probabilistic attribution and, often, ad waste. Plus, as we all know, cookies are going away — fast. Google has already deprecated around 30 million cookies (roughly 1%) from the Chrome browser in Q1. 

A people-based technology partner, like Viant, offers deterministic reach, frequency and measurement, ensuring you reach the right audiences at the right time and have a holistic understanding of return on ad spend.

Advertisers also have the option of tapping Viant Audiences segments to reach tuned-in viewers. Advertisers can layer on these audience segments with contextual-based, predictive, TV viewership and location data for geotargeting. Viant Audiences also offer innovative machine-learning predictive segments, which are custom-built from brands’ first-party KPIs such as online or offline conversions, foot traffic, in-store CPG purchases and more. 

For the Paris games, advertisers can use Viant Audience segments to reach tuned-in streaming watchers of content related to the Summer Olympics, athletics, swimming, gymnastics, cycling, tennis, basketball, volleyball, soccer and diving. 

Reach out to your Viant rep or get started with Viant to get your Summer Olympics strategy ready today. 


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