While still among the most viewed television events, the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo are experiencing record low ratings.
LA Times reports the first night of competition on Saturday averaged 15.9 million viewers, down 32% from the opening night of the 2016 Summer Games.
In the wise words of Harry Styles, “Just stop your crying. It's a sign of the times.”
Though, not all hope is lost for the changing TV landscape. Drive Research surveyed over 1,000 Americans to learn how the Olympics can increase TV ratings.
43% of people agreed they would be more likely to watch the Olympic Games if they allowed a randomly selected citizen to compete in each event.
Admit it. The idea of your boss competing in gymnastics next to Simone Biles or watching your neighbor doing synchronized swimming would pique your interest too.
Keep reading to learn more findings from the survey including what events most people want to see added to future Summer Olympic Games.
Viewership of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games
- 89% of people watched at least some of the 2016 Summer Olympics. Meanwhile, only 76% of people plan to watch at least some of the 2020 Summer Olympics.
- Gen Z (those born 1996 to 2003) has the most interest in the summer games with 94% reporting they plan to watch at least some of the 2020 Olympics.
- Traditionalists (those born in or before 1945) are least interested in the summer games with 19% reporting they do not plan to watch any of the 2020 Summer Olympics.
Factor Causing People to NOT Watch the Summer Olympics
The top reason Americans will not watch the Summer Olympics is the length of the competitions. 23% of people would rather watch short, video highlights of the Olympic Games.
Other common factors causing people to not watch the Summer Olympics include:
- Not interested in watching sports (21%)
- Too many commercials (20%)
- Not having time to watch (13%)
Summer Olympic Game Events: Most Anticipated & Most Desired
For those who plan to watch this year’s Olympic Games, the most anticipated events include gymnastics, swimming, and track and field.
The survey also asked respondents, “What new event would you like to see added to future Summer Olympic Games?”
Top answers of events people who like added to the summer games include:
- Bowling (23%)
- Tug-of-War (11%)
- Miniature golf (10%)
- Cornhole (9%)
- Darts (9%)
Details About the Study
- The survey received 1,133 responses
- Fieldwork was conducted with adult residents (18 years or older) of the United States.
- Fieldwork for the survey began on July 1 and lasted united Jul 22, 2021.
- The Summer Olympics survey included 5 questions and took respondents 2 minutes to complete.
- Did you watch at least some of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games? Select one.
- Do you plan to watch at least some of the 2021 Summer Olympic Games? Select one.
- What event are you most excited to watch at the 2021 Summer Olympic Games?
- Which of the following factors may influence your decision to not watch the 2021 Summer Olympic Games?
- How would having a randomly selected citizen compete in each event influence your interest in watching?
- What new event would you like to see added to the future Summer Olympic Games?
Respondent Profile (By Gender)
- 4% of respondents were Generation Z.
- 17% of respondents were Millennials.
- 19% of respondents were Generation X.
- 51% of respondents were Baby Boomers.
- 9% of respondents were Traditionalists.
Respondent Profile (By Age)
- 43% of respondents were male.
- 56% of respondents were female.
- 1% of respondents were nonbinary.
Drive Research is a national PR survey company located in New York. Our market research firm works with a variety of organizations, helping deliver insights, action items, and ROI on their survey efforts.
Our research has been featured in top-tier media outlets including USA Today, CNBC, Forbes, Spectrum, Yahoo Finance, and Statista.
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A SUNY Cortland graduate, Emily has taken her passion for social and content marketing to Drive Research as the Marketing Coordinator. She has earned certificates for both Google Analytics and Google AdWords.
Learn more about Emily, here.