It took the Americans the entire two weeks of the Summer Olympics to capture the mythical gold medal race.
After trailing China for much of the Tokyo Games, the U.S. pulled off a memorable comeback in the final hours of the 2021 Olympics on Sunday to edge China, 39-38, for the most gold medals.
The U.S. captured gold medal victories from women’s basketball, women’s volleyball and Californian cyclist Jennifer Valente to come out on top after entering the final day of competition down two gold medals.
The Americans finished with an Olympic-high 113 total medals, 25 more than China, following 17 days in Tokyo. The US was the only country to win 100 medals. In comparison, the U.S. finished with 121 total medals, 46 of which were gold, in the 2016 Rio games.
While the Games did provide its share of drama and excitement, fewer people watched than in year’s past. The rating’s for NBC’s coverage were down 42 percent from the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Just 150 million people watched NBC’s Olympic coverage on television, the lowest total since 1988.
Low viewership had to cost NBC countless millions of dollars. NBC entered the Games knowing they were in a tough spot. The games were taking place on the other side of the planet. That means there was a 13 hour time difference which led to events taking place while we were at work. And that means many of us likely heard results via the media throughout the day. As a result, many obviously did not watch the nightly broadcasts. The 13-hour time difference in 2021 is like an eternity. In 2016 the Rio games were happening on East Coast time.
NBC will face a similar situation in the upcoming Winter Olympics that are being held in China. Those games are only a few months away, months for NBC to find a way to market the Games.