Tokyo 2020 Daily – August 3: Lower ratings would force NBC to negotiate with advertisers

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Welcome to SportsPro’s daily recap for Tokyo 2020, providing the latest Olympic Games updates, news and social highlights.


Report: NBC fears ad revenue decline as Tokyo 2020 audience shrinks

By Tom King

U.S. broadcasting giant NBC kicked off Tokyo 2020 with 17 million people watching the opening ceremony, down 36% from the Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

After this inauspicious start, the network was stuck in talks with advertisers to figure out how to compensate for the drop in viewership, according to Bloomberg.

As the broadcaster’s coverage neared mid-term, the average nightly audience across all NBC outlets was 42% lower than at the Rio Games.

The lack of viewers, the shadow of Covid-19 and the great jet lag have all been cited as the main reasons viewers are turning off. The removal of superstar gymnast Simon Biles from several events also dealt NBC another heavy blow.

Bloomberg reports that the severe drop in week two of competition now puts the revenue that NBCUniversal relies on to meet expenses and profit from the Games at risk.

Comcast, the parent company of NBC, said ahead of the event that it sold a record $ 1.25 billion in advertising for this year’s Olympics and is paying around $ 1.1 billion for it. broadcast rights, according to Bloomberg.

The Bloomberg report added that NBC has set aside additional advertising inventory ahead of the Games in case it needs to provide sponsors with additional business slots in case viewership drops.

In a statement released by Bloomberg, Mark Marshall, president of advertising and partnerships for NBCUniversal, said the company speaks to its partners “every day” to “help them achieve their goals throughout the Games.”

Meanwhile, Italian public service broadcaster Rai recorded strong audience figures thanks to Italy’s gold medal in the high jump and the men’s 100-meter final.

An audience of 6.92 million watched Lamont Marcell Jacobs claim a surprise victory in the 100-meter final, while Gianmarco Tamberi’s final success in the high jump was watched by an audience of 6.61 million viewers . Rai’s average audience for his athletic coverage in Tokyo is around 5.61 million.

According to the website of the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI), Rai broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of Olympic coverage on three channels.


Belarusian sprinter gets Polish visa as Biles returns and Hubbard makes history

By Tom King

Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz said his country had issued a humanitarian visa to Belarusian Olympic athlete Krystsina Tsimanouskaya.

Tsimanouskaya had refused to leave Tokyo for Belarus after being forcibly sent to Haneda Airport in Tokyo by Belarusian officials on August 1. She said the action was triggered following criticism of her coaches.

Przydacz has now said that Poland will do whatever is necessary to help the athlete and ensure that she can continue her athletic career. Tsimanouskaya is expected to leave Tokyo for Poland soon.

According to Japanese media, Tsimanouskaya’s husband traveled from Belarus to neighboring Ukraine, citing security concerns due to pressure from the Belarusian government.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said it had launched an official investigation into the case, spokesman Mark Adams adding that the organization expects to receive a report from the Belarusian National Olympic Committee by August 3.

Elsewhere, after pulling out of a number of events in order to prioritize her mental health, Simone Biles said she would compete in the beam competition, in what could be the gymnast’s last chance. American for gold in Tokyo.

The beam final should also lift the curtain on his illustrious Olympic career, which includes four gold medals. Biles remains the most decorated American gymnast of all time.

Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Laurel Hubbard made history Monday night as the first openly transgender woman to compete in the Olympics.

However, the Olympic weightlifter challenge ended quickly, after missing all three of his snatch attempts.

Although Hubbard has complied with the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) eligibility requirements, including the criteria for trans athletes defined by the IOC, her involvement in the 87+ kg female super heavyweight category was a controversial subject.

Hubbard said she was aware her participation was controversial and thanked the IOC for living up to the Olympic values ​​and showing that sport is for all.


UK weightlifting aims for more funding after silver medal success

By Mark Staniforth, Palestinian Authority Olympic Games Correspondent, Tokyo

Britain’s top weightlifters are set to reap the rewards of a bright new future after Emily Campbell’s historic silver medal in Tokyo on August 2.

Campbell was crowned Britain’s first medalist in the sport after lifting 161kg on the clean and jerk to seal second place in the 87 + kg category.

The 27-year-old had relied on donations from her community near Nottingham to fund her Olympic bid, while teammate Zoe Smith turned to crowdfunding and worked at a cafe to generate enough income to keep going. to train.

But after saying they were “shocked and devastated” when the sport lost its funding in the UK following the Rio Olympics in 2016, UK weightlifting leaders are now hoping Campbell’s astonishing example will win. additional support for the three-year cycle until Paris 2024.

“It’s hard to say how special it is for the sport, from the loss of funding four years ago to someone like Emily falling into our knees,” said performance manager Stu Martin. from British Weightlifting and Team Leader from Tokyo.

“I hope there will be more funding now. We have received some support through the aspiration fund and now we have a great group of young girls with potential who hopefully feel incredibly inspired by what they have seen.

Campbell’s silver medalist 161kg clean and jerk lifted a new British record and confirmed her place on the podium behind 21-year-old Li Wenwen of China, whose cumulative total of 320kg set a new Olympic record and put her in a whole different league.

British Weightlifting will now nominate athletes, including Campbell, for additional funding from UK Sport, and their candidacy will certainly be viewed more favorably after a successful round which saw a team of four female athletes, including Smith, qualify for Tokyo.

“We are making a really concerted effort right now to create more opportunities for young people to engage in our sport,” added Martin.

“I really hope the kids watching at home tonight can feel super inspired by what they’re seeing, and they could grab a bar and try it out.”


Covid Update

At the time of writing, the number of positive cases affecting people with Olympic accreditations stands at 276, with 17 new cases in the last 24 hours.


Social games

American shot putter Raven Saunders explains the meaning of her protest after winning a silver medal in her event. Saunders was the first athlete to protest on the podium at Tokyo 2020 and it is not clear at this point if she will be reprimanded.

The IOC has relaxed the ban on pre-Games protests, allowing athletes to make gestures on the pitch, but political protests are still banned on the podium.


A further insight …

PODCAST | Paris 2024 CEO Etienne Thobois on a new vision for an Olympic city

The Cube, 3D analysis and selected channels … how Discovery broadcasts Tokyo 2020

In general | From Biles to Daley, the value of Olympic gold is mined separately from medals

PODCAST | Tokyo 2020: Life Inside the Olympic Bubble and the Age of European Media Discovery

“Athletes like Allyson Felix hold us to account”: USATF’s Max Siegel on Olympics and more

What will the Olympics look like by 2040?

In general | Tokyo 2020 arrives with athletes offering last hope for something special

Why Olympic sponsors have been unusually quiet in preparation for Tokyo 2020

PODCAST | Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games commercial preview

From promise to postponement through perseverance: Tokyo’s eventful journey to host the Olympic Games

Gilles Morgan | Are the Olympics still the greatest spectacle on earth?

At the time of writing, the number of positive cases affecting people with Olympic accreditations stands at 294, with 18 new cases in the last 24 hours.


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