Simone Biles Boosts Olympic Trials to Biggest Audience Since 2016 With 7.6 Million Viewers

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Simone Biles’ Olympic comeback boosted Sunday’s Olympic trials to reach their biggest audience since 2016.

The trials for the upcoming Paris games brought in an average viewership of 7.6 million across NBC and Peacock as they aired from around 8:30-11 p.m. ET, according to fast national data from Nielsen and metrics from Adobe Analytics.

Sunday’s event mark the most-watched Olympic trials telecast since July 2016, which scored 8.6 million viewers, and viewership was up 29% from the 2021 Olympic trials, which averaged 5.9 million viewers.

When combining viewership for swimming, diving, track and field and gymnastics trials across NBC, Peacock and USA Network from June 15-30, the trials saw a 58% uptick when compared to 2021. On NBC and Peacock alone, the primetime coverage saw an average viewership of 3.9 million, marking a 24% increase from the 3.2 million viewers brought in by the 2021 trials.

Buzz surrounding the gymnast’s qualification for her third Olympic team prompted a peak viewership of 8.2 million from 10-10:15 p.m. ET, when the gymnasts completed their final rotations.

Sunday’s trials also saw Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone set the world record in the 400m hurdle, clocking in at 50.65. Across eight nights of competition, the track and field trials averaged 4.5 million viewers, a 38% uptick from the 2021 trials.

Digital viewing also saw an increase from last Olympics, with over 488 million live minutes of the trials streamed across Peacock and NBC Sports Digital platforms, more than tripling the combined total viewership of the 2021 Olympic trials, which scored 79 million minutes, and the 2016 trials, which came in at 53 million minutes.

In addition to Biles and McLaughlin-Levrone, the trials have featured performances from Suni Lee, Frederick Richard, Noah Lyles, Sha’Carri Richardson, Katie Ledecky, Caeleb Dressel, Regan Smith and Gretchen Walsh. Commentators for the trials included Michael Phelps, Snoop Dogg, Terry Crews, Peyton Manning and Ryan Crouser.

The Paris Olympics’ opening ceremony will air Friday, July 26 on NBC, Peacock and Telemundo.

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