Rio 2016 on CBC/Radio-Canada becomes most-watched summer Olympic Games in Canadian History

August 23, 2016
  • 32.1 million Canadians watch across all networks and platforms
  • Average full day audience increases by 11% over London; primetime increases by 23%
  • 7.2 million watch Usain Bolt and Andre De Grasse in the men's 200m final

CBC/Radio-Canada's coverage of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games offered Canadians more hours of live coverage than any other Olympic Games before, and audiences responded by watching in record numbers. From the Opening Ceremony on August 5 to the Closing Ceremony on August 21, CBC/Radio-Canada's coverage of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games reached 32.1 million Canadians - more viewers than have watched any previous Summer Games in Canada.

"The best athletes from Canada and around the world inspired us day after day in Rio and it was our privilege to share these moments of triumph and heartbreak with so many Canadians," said Greg Stremlaw, executive director, CBC Sports, and general manager and chef de mission for CBC/Radio-Canada's coverage of Rio 2016. "CBC/Radio-Canada is proud to be Canada's Olympic Network through 2024, and to continue to shine a spotlight on these athletes and their stories at the Games and also year-round through our weekly coverage of high-performance sport."

Team Canada matched the national record for the most medals won at a single non-boycotted summer Olympic Games with 22 total medals. This successful performance by Canada's athletes and extensive live coverage helped keep CBC audiences engaged from the first week of coverage through to the end of the Olympic Games. CBC's main network Rio 2016 coverage was the top-ranked programming in morning, daytime, primetime and Pacific primetime among 2+ and key A18-49 and A25-54 demographics.

The 2+ average full day audience for CBC's Rio 2016 English-language television broadcasts (1.271M, main network only) increased by 11 percent over London 2012 (1.146M, main network only). In primetime, the 2+ average audience (2.315M, main network only) increased by 23 percent over London (1.879M, main network only). In addition, CBC's average audience for Pacific primetime coverage (1.055M, main network only, 11 p.m.-1 a.m. ET) saw an average audience (2+) increase of 189 percent over late night coverage during London 2012 (365,000, main network only, 12-2 a.m. ET). Mutual viewing accounted for 60 percent of all viewing (2+), indicating that Canadians enjoyed watching the Summer Games together. This number increases to 65 percent for primetime viewing.

In terms of digital audiences, CBC/Radio-Canada's English- and French-language websites and apps generated more than 229 million total page views and nearly 37 million video views over the course of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. These video views alone account for more than 626 million minutes of video watched by Canadians over the course of the Games.

The following are the most-watched moments from each day of Rio 2016 on CBC:

  • Day 0 (Aug. 5): 3.1 million viewers - Team Canada enters the stadium during the Opening Ceremony
  • Day 1 (Aug. 6): 2.7 million viewers - Canada wins bronze in the women's 4x100m freestyle relay
  • Day 2 (Aug. 7): 3.4 million viewers - Penny Oleksiak wins the silver medal in the women's 100m butterfly
  • Day 3 (Aug. 8): 3.4 million viewers - Women's 100m breaststroke final
  • Day 4 (Aug. 9): 3.7 million viewers - Michael Phelps wins gold in the men's 200m butterfly
  • Day 5 (Aug. 10): 3.6 million viewers - Santo Condorelli swims in the 100m freestyle final
  • Day 6 (Aug. 11): 4.3 million viewers - Penny Oleksiak wins gold in the women's 200m freestyle
  • Day 7 (Aug. 12): 3.8 million viewers - Women's 800m freestyle final
  • Day 8 (Aug. 13): 4.8 million viewers - Canada competes in the women's 4x100m medley relay
  • Day 9 (Aug. 14): 6.9 million viewers - Usain Bolt wins gold and Andre De Grasse wins bronze in the men's 100m
  • Day 10 (Aug. 15): 3.5 million viewers - Men's pole vault final
  • Day 11 (Aug. 16): 3.6 million viewers - Derek Drouin wins gold in men's high jump
  • Day 12 (Aug. 17): 4.5 million viewers - De Grasse challenges Bolt in the men's 200m semifinals
  • Day 13 (Aug. 18): 7.2 million viewers - Bolt wins gold and De Grasse wins silver in the men's 200m
  • Day 14 (Aug. 19): 5.3 million viewers - Bolt completes the "triple-triple" by winning gold with Jamaica's men's 4 x 100m relay team
  • Day 15 (Aug. 20): 3.3 million viewers - Melissa Bishop finishes just off the podium in the women's 800m
  • Day 16 (Aug. 21): 4.0 million viewers - Tokyo 2020 offers a preview during the Rio 2016 Closing Ceremony

Over the course of Rio 2016, CBC/Radio-Canada and primary broadcast partners TSN and RDS, as well as Sportsnet, provided Canadians with 1275 hours of television coverage and more than 4000 hours of live streaming sport coverage.

Sources:

For TV: Numeris TV Meter, Friday August 5 to Sunday August 22, Total TV, M-Su 2a-2a, Total Canada, AMA & CumRch generated by Infosys+ TV. Based on preliminary overnight data. London 2012: Numeris TV Meter, Friday July 27 to Sunday, August 12, 2012, CTV Total, M-Su 2a-2a, Total Canada AMA generated by InfoSys+TV

For digital: Adobe Analytics, Aug. 3-22

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