Tubular Trends: NBC Sports Earns Gold With August Olympic Video Viewership

By Micaela Wanzer · September 17, 2021

Tubular Trends: NBC Sports Earns Gold With August Olympic Video Viewership

The Olympics had its challenges this year, but despite some narratives around viewership drops, there was far more to NBC’s strategy than just who was watching on linear TV in primetime. On social video alone, viewership — uniques and minutes watched — was enough to  catapult NBC Sports toward the top of August’s Tubular Audience Ratings, all on the strength of Olympic content.

This week, we’re looking at… 

  • NBC Crushes with Olympics
  • The Matrix Rises… Again
  • Met Gala Surprises

NBC Wins Olympic Gold

For all the hand-wringing about viewership of the 2021 Summer Olympics, NBC Sports absolutely crushed it. As the channel’s biggest initiative for the month, Olympics programming help drive over 908 million minutes watched in the U.S. across NBC Sports’ Facebook and YouTube pages during the month of August. 

Those figures put NBC Sports first among all U.S. sports media & entertainment creators, second among U.S. broadcast/radio/film/and cable creators, and third for overall U.S. media and entertainment creators. NBC Sports was able to capitalize on Olympic interest with a healthy mix of both competitive footage and personal elements that added to coverage. The video generating the most overall views was a Facebook post featuring U.S. swimmer Caeleb Dressel doing laps with his dog, receiving 20 million views.

The Matrix Resurrects Itself

It’s been 18 years since the original Matrix trilogy ended, but that didn’t stop fans from flocking to the first official trailer for the sequel — The Matrix Resurrections. Warner Bros. Pictures treated the trailer itself like a premiere, releasing several, far shorter, clips teasing the barest of glimpses of the trailer to come in the days before it was released. The result? A total of 30.8 million views on the official Warner Bros” YouTube video in six days. 

But it also had some help. IGN delivered 9.1 million views from its YouTube channel, with HBO Max adding another 1.9 million. Off YouTube, the trailer sparked a Twitter frenzy, with 8 million views on the official movie account, and another million coming from HBO Max, IGN, and E! News. In total, more than 1,300 videos related to #TheMatrixMovie hashtag were uploaded in support of the film, including reviews, reaction videos, interviews, and more.

Met Gala

When do fashion and politics mix? At the Met Gala of course, where celebrities from all walks of life debut provocative costumes meant to turn heads and make headlines. 

This year, the event drew over 175 million views from videos shared on Twitter alone. And while the usual suspects like Variety and Vogue generated the most views from their Twitter accounts (at 70.7 million and 11.9 million, respectively), the decidedly not fashion- or celebrity-oriented accountThe Recount came in third for views with nearly 10 million. This, despite The Recount having just a fraction of the Twitter following of the other two. The Recount has 330,500 followers, to Variety’s 2.6 million and Vogue’s 14.2 million, but was able to utilize its political focus due to the nature of the Met Gala.. 

The political news outlet scored this huge Met Gala win thanks to a video of representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortrez’s “Tax The Rich” dress, which made a stir on both sides of the aisle. Its tweet with the AOC video is fourth among the outlet’s all-time views after just a day. The other three are between nine and 14 months old. 

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