Rio Olympics Expected to Exceed London's $1.1 Billion in Advertising

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The 2012 London Olympics

NBC Sports will once again live stream all events on its authenticated digital platforms.

NBC Sports executives expect the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to exceed the more than $1.1 billion in advertising booked for the London Games.

Boosting the bottom line is the advantageous time zone — Rio is one hour ahead of the U.S. eastern time zone — and the continued high interest in live sports. The 2012 London Games were the most-watched event in U.S. history with 219 million viewers over the course of the Games (surpassing Beijing’s 215 million) and pulling in an average primetime audience of 31.1 million. Sources say that NBC Sports is asking for $1 million for a 30-second primetime spot, based on an 18 household rating guarantee. That's up considerably from the premium of $725,000 that the network achieved for London.

NBC Sports paid $1.28 billion for the London Games. Rio is part of NBC's four-game, $4.38 billion Olympic package that extends through 2020. 

"Our expectations are that we'll exceed London," noted Seth Winter, NBC Sports executive vp ad sales, during a conference call with reporters.

The addition of golf to the Olympics will give NBC Sports more capacity; Golf Channel will televise those tournaments, while the company’s suite of cable channels, including NBC Sports Network, will again carry events.

As with London, every event will be streamed live. And while digital advertising is still a modest part of the Olympics ad sales bonanza ($60 million in London), Winter expects digital inventory to be up 75 percent over London.

Winter predicted "an enormous amount" of streaming during the day. "I expect office productivity will abate significantly during these Games because you're going to see a lot of live events during the day, and people will be watching on their desktops."