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Despite Rise in Streaming and Protests, Media and Marketers Still Back Tokyo Olympics

After a year of delays, the Tokyo Olympics is finally here.
But the growth in streaming is expected to lower broadcast viewership numbers. About 27.5 million people tuned into the 2016 Rio Olympics each night during Primetime, and around 86 million households had a cable or satellite subscription that year. This time around, the Tokyo Olympics are at least 13 hours ahead of the main broadcasting hours for the U.S., and 11 percent fewer households still maintain their cable or satellite bundles. On top of this, NBC Sports is saving the live feed of several popular sports, including men's and women's gymnastics and track and field, for its streaming service Peacock in order to drive viewers to the platform.
But despite the protests and concerns over safety during COVID-19, advertisers haven't stopped backing the Games. While sponsor Toyota announced it would pull its ads running in Japan during the Olympics, it is still moving forward with its plans in other countries. In fact, NBC Sports said it has at least 120 advertisers this year, 80 of which are brand new. It is expecting to bring in more than $1.2 billion in ad revenue, which was the last benchmark set by the 2016 Rio Olympics.
"I think it shows a sensitivity to their specific region and a respect, which the Japanese people are known for, so I think it was the right thing to do," said Influencer marketing agency Takumi CMO Kristy Engels about Toyota.
"When you look at the other advertisers out of the major ad sponsors, no one else has pulled out to date, so they're all sticking with their existing programs so you'll still see the Toyota ads running here in the U.S.," she added.
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