The Men’s 100m track race is considered by many to be the marquee event of the summer Olympics.
The race is such a big deal, the family reunion I was attending made our lunch and dinner plans around the schedule of the semi-finals and finals. Little did we know, the TV service at the venue we booked was broken, but by no means did that stop us. I went to my car, pulled out my iPad, fired up the streaming app made by CTV (the Canadian Olympic broadcast rights holder) and over 20 of us huddled around that 10” screen to watch the races. Now that’s some Canadian Olympic enthusiasm (and that’s with no Canadians in the race)!
As funny as that image may sound, I didn’t think my family was alone, and I was eager to take a look at the streaming stats – especially after I learned that NBC only aired the race live on the web, choosing to hold off from broadcasting on TV until primetime. On Friday, I posted some of the amazing reporting visibility we helped enable on a US fixed-access network with a national footprint. The charts below show network level data from that same provider and demonstrate just how big an event the men’s 100m race was.
The first one shows streaming traffic for all Olympic events in the US over the weekend. What’s incredible is the massive spike and decline in traffic that occurred in just 15 minutes as subscribers logged on, (spoiler alert!) watched Usain Bolt win gold in 9.64 seconds, and then logged off. This peak even surpassed the final Olympic race of Michael Phelps’ storied career which occured during the Day 8 swimming finals.
The next chart breaks down what events were being streamed throughout the day on August 5. The large grey and yellow spikes between 4pm and 6pm were both streams that showed the 100m race.
The final chart shows a comparison of just how much traffic the 100m event generated compared to the second most streamed event of the games so far. During their peak levels the men’s 100m final generated 40% more traffic than Michael Phelps final race in the 4×100 medley relay, and even though not shown in the chart, the men’s final generated almost 11 times more traffic than the women’s 100m final on Saturday.
With less than a week to go in the games, and more high profile events on the way such as Usain Bolt defending his 200m crown, and gold medal games in soccer and basketball it will be interesting to see if those events will be able to take streaming gold from the 100m dash.
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