CBC nets record-breaking digital audiences for Tokyo Olympics

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TORONTO — The CBC is touting record-breaking digital audiences for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The public broadcaster says its digital and streaming platforms netted more than 37 million video views since the beginning of the delayed Tokyo Games.

That’s up 62 per cent over the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, which had a similar time difference of 11 to 16 hours for viewers in time zones across Canada.

The numbers from Adobe Analytics also show that 61 per cent of those digital views were from live programming, indicating online audiences don’t just watch pre-recorded content.

On the TV side, the CBC says 28 million viewers — 74 per cent of all Canadians — tuned in for CBC/Radio-Canada’s coverage.

It’s tough to measure the Tokyo Games against the Rio Summer Games in 2016, due to the time difference, changing TV landscape, shifting viewer habits and challenges of COVID-19, which resulted in fewer athletes participating and virtually no spectators in the stands.

But for comparison, the CBC says its all-day Olympics audience was more than six times higher than the 2020/21 regular season audience.

It says its largest growth was from morning and overnight audiences.

CBC says its most-watched moment of the Games was for women’s soccer on Aug. 6, the day of Canada’s gold medal win over Sweden.

That’s when it saw 725,000 live video views on digital platforms, the highest one-day total on record for CBC, and a peak TV audience of 4.4 million.

The CBC is the Canadian broadcast rights holder to the Olympics through 2024.