NBC Boasts 20% Jump on Viewership for 2024 Olympic Swimming Trials on Early Returns


NBC is promoting an average of 3.2 million primetime viewers on NBC and Peacock for this week’s US Olympic Swimming Trials – an increase of approximately 20% from 2021, when much of the country was stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The data is based on Nielsen and Adobe numbers reported from the first four days of competition and comparing to the entirety of the 2021 Trials – though SwimSwam’s web traffic and 2021 ratings patterns indicate that interest tapers off a bit later in the meet before peaking on the final night when the Olympic team is named.

NBC reports that the first two days of the diving trials have averaged 2.9 million viewers in primetime, which is an increase of 39% from the overall 2021 Trials average.

The attention being garnered from putting the meet in a football stadium is a likely contributing factor to the increases, along with a later time zone that has finals starting after work hours across the country. A lackluster NBA Finals (viewership down 3% from 2023) has likely also freed up some eyeballs to watch swimming instead, though ratings for the NHL Stanley Cup finals are up versus 2023.

The elevated television ratings accompany record crowds that have twice broken 20,000 (though it’s unclear if that is tickets sold or the number of bodies through the door). 22,209 fans were at Lucas Oil on Wednesday, where event sponsor Lilly brought a big contingent of employees to contribute to what is believed to be the largest-ever crowd to attend a swim meet.

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Johnny Twobad
29 days ago

Wednesday night was also the night when Katie Ledecky was swimming the 1500, giving attendees a reasonably sure chance at seeing the GOAT, adding to the appeal of that night’s program.

Last edited 29 days ago by Johnny Twobad
29 days ago

Wasn’t USA Swimming’s goal for the meet 5 million live viewers per night?

This Guy
29 days ago

Kudos USA Swimming for putting a great product out! Stadium looks great on TV

Swim Fast Swim Pretty
29 days ago

Wait, so the pool is inside a football stadium? think I will watch now!

29 days ago

What about them swim-offs? Missed opportunity.
No way if there was run-off in T&F would they have cut the coverage

29 days ago

I bet Lilly Kong being proposed to will help even more 😝😝😝

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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