2016 Rio Olympics TV Ad Loads
According to complaints on social media, the Rio Olympics broke new records for ad clutter. Now that the games are over we took a deeper look. While the total commercial load in NBC telecasts of the Rio Olympics varied by time of day, it topped out at 16 minutes, 2 seconds per hour during the peak viewing hours of 8-11 pm. This was higher than commercial load for the 2012 London Games, where the comparable amount was 15:40, but consistent with typical prime time ad loads of 16-17 minutes.
By contrast, during the last hour of its evening coverage (from 11pm to midnight) NBC aired almost 9 fewer minutes of national spots and the total ad load dropped to 7:17 per hour.
Local ads ranged from 2:43 to 5:21 per hour. The inventory NBC gave to affiliates was skewed towards lower-value morning and afternoon programming.
Other NBC Universal Networks Had Lighter Ad Loads: